The Hazards of Self-Reliance

Up until 1979, I honestly believed I could accomplish about anything I put my mind to, given enough time, tools, and support staff. My career, first as a campus pastor and then as a seminary professor, had advanced at a steady pace. Now there was talk of a major new doctoral program in marriage and family ministry, of which I would be the director if funding could be found.

That January, I became aware that something was definitely wrong with my body. A consortium of doctors finally determined the problem: diabetes. Their immediate orders were to lose at least fifty-five pounds, change my diet, cut back to twelve hundred calories a day, begin exercising regularly, take medication, and start getting adequate rest.

Diabetes would be with me till death, but in the meantime, its control was in my hands. I was suddenly forced to face my own mortality. I had always known I was a creature made by God, but now I was coming to terms with being a creature of space and time.

I was frightened, discouraged, ...

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