By Daniel L. Mullis
Ten years ago, April 2009, I will have been an Orthodox Catholic. Wow!
What ten years this has been. Going back just a little further, November of
1998 I entered the Ukrainian Orthodox Monastery in Knox, Indiana with only
the clothes I was wearing and a back pack with a few personal items. All
the cars, trucks, RV¹s, home, family, career and dreams of what I was
suppose to be were gone. At age 43, I had nothing and I entered the
monastery with nothing. I had one question for God that I hoped He would
answer for me. Why me?
The monastery had one priest whom became a priest/monk shortly after I got
there. There was very little support at that time for this ministry and the
priest had an outside job to pay the bills. I then was left alone. I had
never been alone before. This was the scariest time of my life and being
middle aged was even harder for me. I should be in the middle of my career
as a protestant pastor, home, family, cars and possessions and people
supporting me. All is gone.
Why did I choose this monastery? Only God knows for sure but I was looking
for a place to prayer about what was going on in my life and this door
opened up for me. Was this God¹s will for me? Well, ten years later I
believe this but then I was too broken to understand very much. I was
hurting and lost in this world.
While at the monastery God was not done tearing things away from me. He
took my beliefs about Christianity away from me and opened my eyes to the
church He started two thousand years ago with His Son. Four years of Bible
College and one year in a seminary were thrown out the door and like a new
convert; I started from the very beginning.
One of the major things that I learned from Orthodoxy was that the Christian
life is struggle. Suffering is very much apart of our life with Christ.
Matthew 16:24ff, Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow Him. I had
never been taught this at college or in any protestant church. Yes, I read
this every year when I went through the bible in one year readings but I had
never been taught this.
Now I was doing what Jesus had taught from the beginning that the cost of
following Him means leaving everything behind and follow Him. With
direction from my monk friend and guidance from his bishop from Detroit, I
understood Christianity and knew that I should leave the life I once knew
and follow Jesus. So in April of 1999, I became Orthodox and with God¹s
guidance, All Saints have been my home to grow in my faith.
Why Me? Why Not!