A Story of Stories
My story begins somewhere in the middle of this human struggle to trust my life to God while maintaining control of my own destiny. I was steadily plodding along in my second year of college at Bethel University (then Bethel College).
I was doing my best to write my own story, attempting to chart out a responsible plan for a good future centered around a fulfilling job with decent salary to pay back my school loans. I was merely minding my own business.
Of course, that’s part of the problem. I was living under the godless illusion that my life was actually my business. I am sure Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah, Esther and Paul once entertained that lie as well. But not after they were summoned. Certainly not after they found themselves thrust into a larger story of which they were not the Author, and would spend the rest of their lives minding someone else’s business. This Story is worlds apart from the American Dream, and the two will never be friends.
My story is a story of stories. My story is all about a collision of stories that sparked a radical transformation and completely altered my life’s direction. I cannot overstate my case. Though it would be easy to utterly fail to due it justice. While it may appear prideful to place myself in the ranks of Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah, David, Esther, Paul, Augustine, Luther, Wesley and others, it would be a lie and affront to the God who summoned me if I didn’t own up to what I do in fact share with them.
Like Abraham I heard the Voice. Like Moses I was summoned to a higher purpose. Like Esther I would be called to a particular task “for such a time as this.” Like Augustine I was a college kid whose “heart would remain restless until it found rest in Him.” Most importantly, much like Luther and Wesley, my moment of spiritual awakening began with the simple decision to take up the Bible and read it. Like the children in Prince Caspian, I suddenly found myself thrust into a larger story with little choice in the matter. The story I was pulled into and the story that would redefine my entire life was the Book of Acts.
What follows is a spiritual memoir with a narrative shape to it. My spiritual journey for the past ten years has been shaped by the narrative world of the Book of Acts. The story begins in a college dining hall with a new Bible in hand. The story winds its way through the interior world of a dreamy-eyed seminary student who was not content to just read about the Acts of the Apostles, but wanted to actually live it out today. It’s a story of a faith-experiment where one has the guts to believe that the God who called Paul to reach entire cities wants to do the same today with modern day apostles.
In short, the following is my recounting of an exciting journey with God where I saw the Book of Acts come alive in my own life and ministry. It’s a story I love to tell. It’s a story I need to tell. It’s a story that has made me the man I am today and will continue to influence and shape the man I will someday become.
But it begins somewhat inconspicuously with a 20 year old college kid in a dining hall with a new Bible in hand….