He pulled up to the church on on a mowing tractor with a trailer in tow and a Great Pyrenees walking along side. He had the appearance of a rugged man – tattered overalls, worn boots, long fingernails (surprisingly clean) and the kind of beard that one would expect for a hillbilly. . . But once he began to speak, I knew that he wasn’t just a hillbilly. The locals referred to him as “Mountain Man”. I would discover later that “professor” might be a better and more appropriate identifier.
I’m not exactly sure how long the conversation lasted – maybe an hour – maybe more; but, when he spoke, I hung on his every word. He asked me about my story, and then listened very intently as I shared it with him. He was taking in everything that I shared as if there was going to be a quiz later. Then he told me his story. . .
I’m pretty good at sniffing out b.s.; but, there was something about Mountain Man that made me realize that, at a minimum, he absolutely believed everything that he was telling me; and, at best, there was a lot of truth in his story. What was immediately clear was that Mountain Man was blessed with a wealth of wisdom. And that is why I will call him the “professor” from here on out.
The professor was a learned man with life experience that is equally as valuable as his book-knowledge. He seemed to be compassionate; but also, he was very guarded. The locals seemed to enjoy him; and in return, he appeared to enjoy the fact that they appeared to enjoy him. What I found most interesting about the professor was how connected to God he was. He recognized, with a deep profundity, how everything that he had experienced and everything that he had accomplished was divinely orchestrated. He didn’t seem to take anything for granted; rather, he acknowledged that God is the ultimate provider and is worthy of all praise. . .