College was a foundational time in my life. I was confident going into college that truth is knowable, understandable and discoverable. I was excited to get down to the business of discovering the truth. I had no idea where I would find this Truth, but it seemed apparent to me that Truth was something I could grasp.
Some of the first steps in the direction of Truth included the purchase of a book on philosophy and signing up for a World Religion class. It was my first college class. We studied all of the major world religions and some of the offshoots. My professor was “Christian”, but only in the sense that he had a Christian background. He professed to believe that all roads lead to the top of the same mountain.
I was a truth seeker, and I had no preconceived notion about where that truth would be found. I was naive, perhaps. A great high school teacher challenged me: “A little learning is a dang’rous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.…” (Alexander Pope) She introduced me to Khalil Gibran. I was on my way.
I hit the ground running in college. In the World Religion class, I threw myself into one after another of the world religions. Buddhism seemed most appealing to me. When I read the Bible, it was unsettling. Buddhism seemed to point me away from myself and toward a universal peace. The Bible confronted me, uncovered me and laid me bare.
It was in that World Religion class that I stumbled on something I had never considered. I had never read the Bible before. I did not know that the Bible was written over a period of about 1600 years by about 40 different people. As I read the Bible for the first time, I was struck by the obvious continuity and harmony of the Bible, and I was blown away by the fact that it was not written by one person. It dawned on me that the God must have been the influence to move so many people over such a long period of time to create the harmonious and flowing Biblical text – that and the undeniable power of the words.
It seemed unlikely to me that I would find what I found in the one place I was least likely to look.