Way back in nineteen-mumbledy when I was trying to figure out where to go to college, I would get mailings from various schools trying to woo me to attend there.  One that almost had me convinced was Reed College, in Portland, Oregon.  They had all the normal pictures of good-looking college kids having a great time, really enjoying spending their parents’ hard-earned money because the world revolves around them.  Normal stuff.

The thing that caught my eye was a quote from a student.  I’m sure it was real, though it may have been solicited.

I was going to write a paper on the need for greater academic diligence, but I never got around to it.

Funny, and it appealed to my sense of humor that the college would publish it.  That single quote almost decided me to head for the left side of the country.

I’m sure that Reed is a great school, but I ended up attending Mount Vernon Nazarene College (it’s MVNU now, since they jumped on the “gotta be a university” bandwagon, but I still attended the college).  And that made all the difference in my life.  In Oregon, I would not have met or married Bettie.  I would not have had the steadying presence of Ken Shaffer or Linda Shaffer.  I would not have caught the enthusiasm of Gerald Lashley or Jim Kiper as it relates to computers.

And my personal life would have been much different.  Away from the influence of a God-centered college, and God-centered family and friends, and a God-centered wife, I have no idea where I would have ended up.  Very, very differently, that’s for sure.  I see on Reed College’s front page that they are sponsoring an exhibit on “The Language of the Nude” at a college art gallery.  I didn’t need that then, and don’t need it now.  But in the atmosphere that probably exists out there, I’m sure I would have been more than willing to go discuss “form” and “structure” and “meaning” while looking at images of naked people.  Artists may have a need for that sort of thing – that’s for them to judge.  I have a need NOT to do that.

So I look at a road not taken, and I thank God for it.  The closer I am to Him, the closer I am to who He wants me to be.  And that is what is truly, eternally important.   It was my decision to go to college.  It was God’s influence that decided where to go.

Thanks, God!

The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.

Prov 16:9, NASB