I sat in my office, staring intently at my computer screen.
The last editorial of the year—what highly significant issue was I to bring before my Adventist family at the end of the year? I had some ideas; I had made a plan; yet God had something better for me.
When I write creatively in my office at the General Conference I usually close my office door so that I will not get distracted by the steady traffic passing by the offices of the Adventist Review. On that day I had left open about two inches.
Suddenly there was a timid knock on my door. As I took my eyes off the monitor I saw two inches of a vaguely familiar face. Heidi, a dynamic young adult from southern California who, together with a bunch of others, had stayed a year earlier at our home, peeked into my office. “Can we say ‘hello’, Mr. Klingbeil” [Heidi always calls me Pastor or Mr. Klingbeil—it must be my age]? There they stood: three young adults, all under 30, eager to meet and greet.
“Come on in,” I replied cheerfully, yet feeling slightly interrupted—a brilliant thought had just begun to form in the back of my head, but had not made its way to the front. Heidi introduced me to Michael and Kyle. Miraculously, it seemed, they had made it into the Washington D.C. area by plane, one day after Hurricane Sandy had left the region. They were here for a program at the year-end meetings of the North American Division. We commandeered a third chair for my office and settled down to a pleasant conversation. All three of them are very much involved in the mission and evangelistic outreach of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. As we became acquainted we realized that we had shared friends and knew similar places.
These shared friends and places led to shared experiences with our wonderful God. I enjoyed the enthusiasm of my three visitors as they talked about iShare, an evangelistic training initiative sponsored by the Pacific Union Conference that is aimed at young adults (see www.ishareconference.org).
We pushed our chairs together and I prayed—for their commitment to Christ, for their friends and generation, for our church at this crucial time in history.
After half an hour my visitors had to move on and it was time to get back to my editorial. I usually pray with people who step into my office and also asked if I could pray for my three young friends. We pushed our chairs together and I prayed—for their commitment to Christ, for their friends and generation, for our church at this crucial time in history. And then it happened: as I finished, eyes still closed, Heidi prayed for me and for my three girls and my wife, for the ministry of the Adventist Review team, for my daily walk with Jesus.
This was one of those key moments in one’s life. Only a visit, a time of fellowship, a prayer—and, yet, it made “click” in my mind on that day.
It felt like “All is well.” In spite of the many red-button topics that we are currently dealing with in our church family, all is well. There is a new generation of Adventist leaders who were passionate, genuine, creative, committed—and praying. In spite of many cultural, economic, or theological challenges and uncertainties all is well when we come together to pray. Under the Word, united by the Spirit, and led by the Lamb we can step out in confidence. We may not know all the answers to the challenges that we may not even clearly recognize on the horizon, but we know that the One who taught us to pray in community is faithful and true, leading us safely into the Promised Land. Thank you Heidi, Michael, and Kyle for helping me to realize that all is well for the new year. We are in the Father’s hand—together.
This commentary appeared first in December of 2012 in the Adventist Review.