Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Solving Problems with a Bible Verse

CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter… ©

When I was a campus minister, I spent most of my time counseling. I dreaded going out of town. Whenever I returned from a conference or some other meeting, Anne Paxton, my secretary, would have me scheduled up on my first day back in the office with back-to-back counseling sessions, sometimes 7 or 8 in a row. She said that when she told students I was gone, they looked so forlorn that she would schedule them in for the earliest possible time in my day.

One of my campus ministry friends used to say that when the mothers of the coeds began to look better to you than the coeds, it was time to get out of campus ministry. I don’t think he was advocating that campus ministers [all male in my day] should be dirty old men, just that they should be young. I got out, in part, because I was bored. All the students in those days were 18 to 22 years old. Their problems were identical. It got to the place in those counseling sessions that after the first five minutes, I could go ahead and script the rest of the session. Only the names--boyfriend/girlfriend, roommate, major, parents, professors--would be different.

I recall one student who came in with the usual problems. I did the usual counseling—listening, trying to help him see what was causing the problems, trying to help him see solutions. He got up and left in disgust. “What kind of minister are you?” he asked angrily. “I came to you with problems and all we did was talk. You didn’t give me a single Bible verse!”

So, if you’ve got problems… Romans 8:31-39.

John Robert McFarland

I started this blog several years ago, when we followed the grandchildren to the “place of winter,” Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP]. I put that in the sub-title, Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter, where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.] The grandchildren, though, are grown up, so in May, 2015 we moved “home,” to Bloomington, IN, where we met and married. It’s not a “place of winter,” but we are still in winter years of the life cycle, so I am still trying to understand what it means to be a follower of Christ in winter…

I tweet as yooper1721.

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