As I sit here this evening, I can’t help but remember that it was exactly 33 years ago tomorrow, Labor Day, 1982, that I checked into Room 1231 of Sheraton Hotel in the 2800 block of North Meridian Street in Indianapolis to begin work the following day for a company funded by the Lilly Endowment. Janet and I had made the decision that I should accept a position that had been offered to me as Executive Director of an organization that was working in concert with the Endowment to help promote Indianapolis as the amateur sports capital of the United States.
Little did I know that my tenure there would be short lived – I actually was asked to get involved in a plan to work with the State Department and the Reagan White House Office of Small Business Initiatives. But to be truthful about it, I wasn’t a Washington kind of guy – I much preferred the midwest and it was fortunate that Janet and I never made the move to one of the greatest political centers of the world. After getting some initial work completed in Washington, we were able to stay in Indiana and that eventually worked to our great benefit.
So, we have been here in Carmel for 33 years, a suburb just north of Indianapolis, where Janet and I have had the privilege of raising Kristin, Jill and Andrew in a place that we came to by faith so many years ago. It was here that we started our business that has provided our financial means to live for the past three decades. And here that not only our children, but now three of our grandchildren, also have been raised.
Make no mistake – Janet and I love our hometown of Chicago beyond words – but we are hard pressed to think that we could have been placed in a greater location than this to raise our family. We are close enough to Chicago to visit, but we don’t struggle with the traffic issues and other realities of life identified with the big city. Of course, we also don’t have the museums and top drawer culture that Chicago affords so there are trade-offs in any decision.
But there’s no doubt that neither of us had any idea how our lives would unfold in Carmel. On balance, it has been beyond great. We have watched our kids grow up, and while we miss Jill, who has moved to Oklahoma, Kristin and Andrew are still very close to us and we have had a wonderful run with the business and our ministry commitments. We have actually started a non-profit named Chaplains at Work and I still consult across the country with executive teams. I have attended seminary and have taught Bible study more than 15 years now. And through it all, God has been faithful to us.
The verse for this evening is an obscure one from Dr. Luke. He tells us the story of a man who had been healed by Jesus. We are then told, in Luke 8:39, that Jesus approached the man and told him, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” That’s how Janet and I feel – we just can’t believe how much God has done for us. My encouragement this evening is that God has a plan for each of us and His plan for you is probably better than you can possibly imagine. My prayer is that you will have faith in the Father and His Son – that you will allow them to guide your life and bless you beyond your wildest imagination. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…