Monday, July 24, 2017

Belly of the Big Fish

Going to Asbury College was my "Jonah in the belly of a big fish" moment.   The bottom line was that I did not want to go.  I was convinced at the time that going to this Kentucky school was being obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  I simply wanted no part of it.  It was too religious.  It was a school with a holiness tradition.  It was 600 miles from home.  I was not going to do it.  So, I went to another college here in Georgia.  I had my only Dean's List quarter at that school, but I was miserable  so I sent my application to Asbury and got accepted. 

I went there with a heart full of doubt and a spirit in rebellion.  I was determined being at Asbury would not change me.  I was going to leave as rebellious as I was when I arrived.  God surely had a reason for my being there, but it took me a while to see it.  Within a month or so after starting classes, I met a young girl from Georgia whom I would marry in less than two years.  Since she was far ahead of me in her faith journey, it is amazing she stuck it out with me.  But, she did.  Since attendance at chapel was required three times a week, I began to get a steady dose of preaching that got my attention.  I found myself being introduced to some new ideas about the work of the Holy Spirit.  For the first time I wondered what a Spirit controlled life would look like. 

Everything came to a head for me in February of 1970 at what is known as the Asbury Revival.  For a week classes were suspended and services of worship and praise continued without stopping in the auditorium on campus.  Lives all around me were being changed by the power of the Holy Spirit at work.  Mine, too.  I joined so many others at that altar the first afternoon and my walk with God carried me forward into new and not yet imagined places.  I am grateful God led me to Asbury College and allowed me to kneel at that altar at Hughes Auditorium.  I cannot imagine my journey without that holy moment and holy place. 

No comments: