Thursday, October 6, 2011

Seeing God's Blessings in Adversity

During our Breakfast With Fred event on campus yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit individually with some of the mentors who came to our campus to share their insights and experience with our students. They were compelled by a calling to give back to our students some of the godly wisdom and benefits they had gained from being mentored by others.

One of the BWF mentors I met was Ron Glosser. After a successful 30-year banking career in Ohio, Glosser moved to Pennsylvania at the age of 56 and began to head up the Hershey Trust. Yes, that is the same Hershey name you've seen on chocolate candy bars.

When Mr. Hershey died, he left his entire fortune to a trust to help underprivileged children. That trust today is estimated at over $7 billion and supports a boarding school for about 1,500 children from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade who come from broken homes, living in poverty. The school changes lives.

Glosser, who is now retired, said he prays every day that God will bring into his path people who need a touch from God and that he can be that encouragement to them. He spoke of every job as being a mission field. His philosophy mirrors that of our own university, to claim every workplace in every nation for Christ.

Glosser shared that every job has challenges. He told of going through a time in the banking industry when he was very discouraged and suffered several sleepless nights. One night he got up and was praying about all the things he was going through when he felt God encouraging him to write down all his blessings. He argued with God, but dutifully began listing them on paper. Three hours passed before he finished the exercise. He then realized that here he had sat, imploring the Sovereign of the universe to eliminate all the mountains he was faced with, then realized that a trade-off could mean giving up that list of blessings.

He said his prayer changed from "God get me out of it," to "God, what do you want me to get out of it?" He began to see God's blessings, even in adversity.