Dear Younger Glen:
I am speaking to the Glen of about 19 years old, the me that was so full of fire and vinegar and convinced that the world needed changing.
Well, I apologize.
I will be 62 years old in November, and I haven’t changed the world yet. I know that things looked pretty immediate and black and white back in 1972.
When you (I mean I) surrendered your life to Jesus Christ and committed the rest of your life to serving Him, the passion you felt was so strong that you worried that Jesus would come before you even got back from Europe. That passion burned white hot in you, and led you on many adventures. And even though the passion doesn’t burn as hot any more, the love is still there, and that path it put you on has led you into a life you couldn’t have imagined in your wildest dreams. No, there weren’t any confrontations with police, no arrests, no beatings in alleyways, no journeys into dangerous lands with strange sounding names. Maybe if I had remained single some of that might have happened, but it really wasn’t the path God had planned for me.
Instead, you led me to a girl that understood me and tolerated my insane ideas and wild eccentricities for 40 years, and actually shared some of my secret sins such as sci-fi and canoeing and filled my life with joy. That led me to two wonderful, quirky kids that have turned into fascinating adults, and now a terrific grandchild.
I didn’t fight off cannibals or headhunters, but I did fight off apathy in my children’s Sabbath school classes. I turned a fantasy of someday being a writer into 20 books and more than 200 articles and stories. And a love of learning finally resulted in a PhD and a chance to teach in a university classroom.
But what I discovered since I surrendered my life to Jesus that October night in 1972 in a cow pasture in Austria is that none of that really matters. All the books, all the degrees in the world don’t mean anything when it comes down to it.
And it’s not about changing the world. It’s about changing one person. You.
God touched my life all those years ago, and He continues to touch my life every day. And I can only hope that the person I am will touch those around me.
Changing the world happens, after all, one person at a time.