These notes are about significant changes in my life which, for years, I thought of as “just happening,” but after later reflection, felt there must have been spiritual input.
The first came after my parents’ marriage ended in 1935, the year of my birth. Taken in by paternal grandparents, I was with them for 12 years. Every Sunday, we attended morning and evening sermons at a Church of the Brethren near their Kansas farm. Grandmother ensured I also attended Sunday School and Summer Bible Classes. Although not a good Bible scholar and less than attentive during sermons, I believe that period gave me a Christian foundation. At age 13, I went to live with my father and stepmother in Colorado. I enjoyed being with them but the ensuing teenage years weren’t positive. It seemed I could do nothing right.
As a desperate resort, I joined the Army. It was a good move; the discipline improved my life. For years, I attributed that step to “luck,” but eventually I had to question that term. After many personal mistakes, I doubted having the ability to make a wise choice by myself. As years went by, I came to believe there was intervention from higher realms. In any case, Army service made my life better. I learned about responsibility.
As my enlistment came to a close, the Army offered options which enticed me, but I also wanted a college degree. I wavered; should I re-enlist or return to civilian life? One Sunday, after Church, I prayed to God for help in making that decision. Shortly thereafter, I was a civilian enrolled at the University of Maryland. I joined the Trinity Baptist Church near Campus and was baptized. Fifty-five years later, Trinity Baptist forwarded my “letter” to St. John’s.
Daily, I thank God for the guidance that helped me on my journey.
– Cecil V. Hornbaker II