I am a college professor who came from a family of college professors. My parents were on faculty at a college in Casper, Wyoming, which is where I grew up. When you consider the time I spent as an undergraduate, Masters, and Ph.D. student, I was in college 10 years! So, joining the faculty at a university seemed like the obvious choice for me. You could say it was my calling.
But my real calling started much earlier than my desire to teach at a university. In addition to being raised in a college environment around students and professors, I grew up in a home where belief in God, and particularly His son Jesus, was in the middle of everything we did. Sure, we went to church just about every time the doors were open, but we also tried to live the kind of life Jesus lived when He was on earth. When I was 10 years old, I knew enough to understand that living in a home where Jesus was the main influence over all we did was not enough. This is when I accepted Jesus as my personal savior and began the adventure of learning what it means to follow Him every day in every area of my life.
What an adventure it has been! There have been more than a few obstacles and challenges along the way, many of which have been my own doing. There have been times when God prompted me to leave my comfort zone. Other times He wanted me to be patient and wait, even when I wanted to get moving. He has taught me the value of building relationships with others as he has continually pursued a relationship with me. Most importantly, He has reassured me time and time again how much He loves me and will never let me go, no matter what.
I love the fact that this adventure has led me to being a college professor. I get to talk to students every week about things I’m passionate about. Things I believe in and want them to believe in too. I get to sit down and talk with them and hear their stories, as I weave my own story into class meetings and discussions. I watch them struggle and fail and learn and grow from bad experiences. I see them come in as newly minted high school graduates and leave as eager, prepared teachers ready to be a positive influence in someone else’s life.
Making the decision to follow Jesus has changed everything for me. It has changed the kind of husband I try to be, the kind of dad I am to my sons, and the kind of professor I get to be for my students. I can’t wait to see the next turn this adventure will take.