It was the first day of class, the spring semester of 1991. My business calculus class just let out, and I immediately had a business law class on the other side of the Texas A&M campus. Again, just as I departed the building, the sky pours down torrents of rain. I hesitate and go back in the building. Not good for the first day of class. Of course, I was without an umbrella.
Because of my most unfortunate dilemma, I did what most umbrella-less students would do in a downpour. I began to negotiate with God. And it went a little something like this…
“Okay, God, I uh, well, if you stop the rain, well then, I’ll go to church this Sunday…”
Now keep in mind, the ”going to church” ritual was not part of my routine at that part of my life. And I was not yet aware that bargaining with God was not the most mature of Christian practices.
The rain stopped, within seconds.
So, I trotted along to my class, and just moments before I got inside the entrance, it began to rain again. Just a few drops was all that I encountered.
I sat through my class, thinking, “What did I get myself into?” I had no intention of breaking my end of the deal, even though it was hastily made. Class ended, and I left the building, amongst a clamor of excited Corps men. “We just invaded Iraq! We’re at war!” (This was news that excited the average corpsman. It terrified me, for my best friend, Dwight, had just enlisted in the army, and had completed basic training. There was a good chance he might be shipped off to fight in the first Gulf war.)
The following Sunday, I went to church with my friend, Jeff Fitzhugh. Went to Sunday School and worship. I don’t remember much, other than it was a surprisingly enjoyable experience. The Sunday school lesson and the pastor’s sermon were very encouraging and comforting, considering the state of war that America was in. I’m sure there were folks attending because of the fear and uncertainty that they were experiencing because of the current events. I can rest in knowing that I was present because of my encounter with our God, who was making Himself more and more personal to me.
It would be nice to say that I was at church next Sunday, and the Sunday after that, and that I became a devout follower of Christ from that point on. I did not. It would be another two years before I started on that point of my journey. But, I consider this experience one of many bricks that my Lord used to build the foundation He was laying. A foolish seeker says a prayer, and God answered. Some would say coincidence, I say it was a divine encounter of the most subtle of sorts. It seems to be those small, insignificant encounters He uses to change hearts of the foolish.