by Jim Edge
The end of one year and the beginning of another is typically a time for reflection about the year ending and for resolutions about the coming year. The songwriter proposes it is a good thing to count your blessings, because it would surprise you what the Lord has done. I am counting, but I am not surprised.
The year ending has brought significant change in my own personal life. Some of the changes are so positive — Carol and I gained three more grandchildren during 2008. But even positive changes create challenges; for instance, we’re buying more Christmas gifts for the new little ones.
I also am reminded about the positive changes in my own life because of new friends I have met. I have enjoyed being on the road and representing Baptist Bible College. I am thankful to meet former students of our college who are still faithfully applying what they learned while students here at BBC. I enjoy hearing their stories about how the Lord has worked in their lives to bring them to where they find themselves ministering today.
But right now I’m thinking more about the present and the future. One of the joys I experience is sharing in the lives of our current students. As I write this article, I am sitting at my desk wearing a BBC Patriot basketball jersey. The players had been instructed to give their travelling jersey to someone in the faculty or staff and ask them to wear it to the last home game before the Christmas break. I am wearing the jersey of Bobby Hughes. He is six-feet-eight-inches tall. I am not. He is thin and lean. You can guess what my frame is. The shirt is long enough on me to be a dress (that would make people talk). But the joy and laughter came when Bobby entered my office. He remarked he had never been in the president’s office. I replied that the fact he had not visited before indicated he was a good kid. I am simply thankful to get to know tomorrow’s servants. I am blessed indeed.
There have been personal challenges I hadn’t planned for. One of the challenges has been related to the church I am a member of, Park Crest Baptist Church. Before assuming the role as president of the college, I was allowed to teach a Sunday school class with some great people. I liked that assignment and enjoyed being with them often. But since becoming president, for the first time in my life, I have not been regular in attending my church. I don’t skip church, you understand. These days I am on the road and in a different church every week. I feel like a perpetual first-time visitor. Many of my missionary friends have indicated it is something they deal with also. The whole experience has only solidified my belief in the importance of a local church as a home.
Then there is the challenge in our future. Whatever else may be out there for us, the future at Baptist Bible College presents opportunities for us to see the Lord do great things. I have resolved to always lean on Him and to expect Him to do even greater things than I have ever asked for or thought about. That’s a resolution I hope I can always keep. I have resolved to learn how to have a better school tomorrow than we have today. Part of that resolution involves the importance of relevance. This takes a willingness to listen and have open conversation about the real issues of ministering in today’s world. Just because we have always done “it” a certain way isn’t a reason to continue doing what isn’t working.
I have resolved to pray and ask God for the wisdom He has promised. I believe He is still looking for vessels to work through. I want to see the Lord glorified in our midst.
Our school has been blessed with some great friends. I want to see our circles of friendship grow, and I want to see us reach out and make new friends. Those friends represent opportunities for more ministry, and that will make the need for more trained workers even greater. I want to do all that I can to make a difference in reaching this world.
I want to be found faithful in the coming days. This year, amid all the changes and challenges, I have learned that being faithful is maybe the best thing I can do. Together we can encourage each other to continue in the battle until our days are done.