So, there I sat one day, basically minding my own business. My then boss, Dr. Hance Dilbeck, informed me that he was resigning his position as executive director–treasurer of Oklahoma Baptists. He then had the audacity to tell me that our convention’s constitution stated that I would be interim executive director.
That revelation brought me to the verge of panic. You know, like the panic you feel when you simultaneously see a Highway Patrol Trooper and your speedometer shows 92 mph. You know, like the panic you feel when you realize you just ate the last strip of bacon. You know, like the panic you feel when you realize the Texas Longhorns could somehow beat the Oklahoma Sooners on the gridiron. You know, like the panic you feel when you realize you are about to get a new responsibility that you weren’t expecting and certainly didn’t ask for. You know, like the panic that causes you to breathe into a paper sack while you are trying not to hyperventilate.
By the way, Walmart sacks are poor substitutes for that little exercise—you can easily inhale one of those flimsy little things, which will not only stop you from hyperventilating, it will stop you from any kind of ventilating. So, I learned you should keep a paper bag handy just in case you get some surprise announcement that causes you to breathe funny.
One of my very first thoughts after Dr. Dilbeck delivered his news was that once folks realized that I had this position, this interim was going to be shortest interim in the history of interims. For the sake of all that is good, they surely wouldn’t leave someone like me in a position like this.
So, I drank an ice cold Mountain Dew and ate a BLT without the L or the T—or the bread for that matter. You don’t ever want to ruin a mess of bacon by adding vegetables or berries or whatever tomatoes are supposed to be. That Mountain Dew and bacon calmed me right down. In fact, it calmed me down enough to realize Oklahoma Baptists are going to be OK.
One reason we are going to be OK is Dr. Dilbeck left us with an incredible vision to focus our efforts around the state. That vision is “We Encourage One Another to Advance the Gospel.” Here is part of what I know. If we focus on encouraging one another, we will be all right. And if we use all of our resources to advance the Gospel, we will be fulfilling the Great Commission.
Another reason we are going to be OK is we have the right people in the right places doing the right things. I am speaking specifically about the folks who serve Oklahoma Baptists through the work of the convention. We have a strong team of talented, passionate people who love the local church, who love pastors, who love our associations, and who are committed to getting Gospel work done at a very high level.
A third reason we are going to be OK is we have a great search team comprised of quality men who care deeply about Oklahoma Baptists. Although I do not and should not have any inside information about how they are doing their work, I am convinced they will do a good work.
Finally, we are going to be OK because you won’t find any people anywhere who are better than Oklahoma Baptists.
So, I think the best thing for me to do is to drink another Mountain Dew, eat some more bacon, and take a deep breath. We are going to be OK. I am sure of it.