Freshman year at Princeton, I was kneeling in the chapel, and heard a voice VERY familiar from the screen saying "now if you'll just look up at those windows THERE." I glanced up, though i wasn't the one addressed, and saw none other than Jimmy Stewart pointing out the stained glass designs to a married couple about his age. Stewart was a very loyal Princetonian, and an almost archtypical one -- with a self-mocking sense of humor, slightly goofy manner and stoop, and dress-down style...
Here's what I wrote for my Princeton reunion:
Terry Irwin, our freshman philosophy preceptor, remarked on my "apparently uncontrollable urge to enlarge on large questions." I haven't changed that much. As with my yearbook bio, the way the
question phrased has me thinking of the meaning of my life.
I could quote the Bible, but for the moment I'll refer to a Beatle lyric or two or eight: What really matters is that we love the other people with whom we share our breath on this wondrous planet. And, in
my view, hope to share a still more wondrous Eternity with the One Who designed this wondrous planet, and designed us.
'Charity begins at home." Despite the limitless scope of my dreams, mine begin with two remarkable young men who share my last name, who are, in alphabetical order, Christian (11) and Mark (17) - baseball
players with soft hands and rocket arms, tough guys with gentle and kind hearts, fascinated in everything they see around them. To make a positive difference in their lives that shall survive mine in this
world is the most important thing there ever could be for me. And the circle widens from there, including you my classmates - and those who are especially close know who you are and will pardon me not naming
names because of the certainty of unpardonable omission.
Beyond that cosmic goal, I don't know that I need dreams, because every day is such a wonder. Sledding down the beautiful Michigan snowy hills. Making and eating a salad. Playing catch. Watching the sun set, or
rise, or clouds pass overhead. Listening to Bach, or James Taylor. I could go on and on. Some of my greatest moments have been in faraway places - Swiss Alps, Irish crags - and some have been in my own back yard, literally. Many have been at Old Nassau.
I am a very rich man though my bank account isn't enormous. Saint Francis was overheard by a friend repeating again and again, "My God and my all," and adding, "He who has You has everything, because all
things are yours." Indeed. And when I think of the line in the invitation about our 1974 expectation to conquer the world, I think of my Savior's warning that if we conquer the world and lose who we are, we gain
nothing. I think I've at least begun, with His help and that of a lot of good people, some of whom will read this, to find who I am. And once you realize how good a thing that is in God's love, it's much better
than conquering the world.
Write or visit any time. I love seeing my friends. God be with you on your journey to your own dreams.