34 Years Ago


I’ve journaled for many years. Today, I happened to pull off the shelf one of my earliest volumes and came across an entry in 1974, shortly before graduating from college. I wrote …

I have some fears on leaving college:

1. I fear loosing my idealism. Being out “in the real world” seems like it can produce narrow conservatism because of a constricted worldview.

2. Instead of being a critic of society and culture, I am fearful I would become a defender of it. I’m afraid of the encroachment of the world’s cultural values and that they would take over instead of maintaining a biblical perspective.

3. I fear clinging to security and particularly to money, and loosing a pilgrim mentality.

4. I fear loosing the excitement, freshness and looseness of being young and identifying with my generation in their 20s.

5. I fear not being able to be a “radical” for Jesus, i.e. capitulating to bourgeois complacency.

6. I fear intellectual stagnation and ceasing to learn and think.

It’s a sobering checklist and causes me to pause and evaluate how I’ve done over these past three decades. But what’s more sobering is the fact that all of these are still very real concerns and they have not been mitigated by 34 years.

3 Responses to “34 Years Ago”

  1. Bobby Says:

    I think you’re doing very well with this list by almost any measure…and especially on #’s 2, 4 and 6. God has kept you in a learning posture and on the edge for these 34 years in an amazing way! Be encouraged that He honored your desires and prayers.

  2. Jim Says:

    No worries Sam…..I’ve known you for only a few months and your heart speaks volumes. After reading “34 Years Ago” I now know where it comes from. Keep up the good work.

  3. Bob Middleton Says:

    I would be as interested in what years of experience has done to modify or at least adjust some of those fears. Also, what are you looking forward to now after 34 years of ministry.

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