As I sat near the front of the Calvin College auditorium, Dave Long came to the podium to preach on Jeremiah 1. It was an evening worship service at the 2004 Reformed Presbyterian International Conference (RPIC 2004).
As Pastor Long called for future pastors and missionaries, I would love to say I eagerly listened and pondered Christ’s call on my life. But reality is more brutal: I fell asleep. I nodded and bobbed my way through the sermon, catching snippets here and there as I fought exhaustion and even indifference.
Somehow, despite my inattentiveness, the small bit of Pastor Long’s call that I’d heard stuck with me. As I walked back to the dorms, for the first time I began to wonder if that call to serve the church in this way was for me.
This is my story: God bringing gospel hope and calling to a stumbling, falling, even dozing sinner like me.
A Growing Plant
I was born in Indianapolis, Ind., the third of five boys. My story of covenant blessing, however, begins a few years before I was born when my parents were converted to Christ through the ministry of Southside (Indianapolis, Ind.) RPC.
God was good to me as I grew up on the south side of Indianapolis. I was homeschooled alongside my brothers, actively participated in the life of Southside RPC, and devoted myself to playing, watching, and pondering the game of basketball.
Curiously enough, it was basketball that God used to awaken me ...