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Doug Adams: His Life and Work

Doug Adams, minister


Douglas G. Adams delivered this sermon at the Second Congregational Church in Rockville, Illinois, on December 9, 1979.


Scripture: Mark 12: 13-17
Text: Psalm 2: 4
"He who sits in the heavens shall laugh."

When I was in college, I knew I wanted to go into the ministry. I knew that by the time I went through this church. The question was what kind of ministry. I was drawn to three different areas of ministry. One was history and research, the academic side of ministry. I was very drawn to become a historian. On another side, I was very taken with social concerns, everything from tutoring students to voter education and so on.

The third side was a life of prayer. On occasion, on some Sundays and weekends, I would go to a Benedictine Monastery, which was about fifteen miles away from Durham, North Carolina, where I would be able to spend time in prayer.

These three did not fit very well together. If any of you try to do all three, you know how they conflict with each other. If you're going to be a good historian, you should spend much time in the library. I should have been there every Saturday working on my history papers; but if I was going to be concerned with social concerns and out tutoring someone, that would take away from the history. If I was out doing meditation and prayer, that was taking away from these other activities. It was clear I couldn't do all three well. So, my prayer became; "which of these three things should I do, God, and which other two should I get rid of?"

I was at the beginning, I suppose, of what you would call 'getting it all together'. You have friends who are trying to get their lives all together. I was in an early phase of that. To 'get it all together' means usually you leave your family, you quit your job, you quit the church, and you 'get it all together'. You can see the problem in getting it all together. I thought that what God promised was the peace that you could easily understand. I hadn't read that part of the scriptures where it says God gives you a peace that passes any understanding.

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Permission to reproduced this sermon courtesy of The Center for Arts, Religion and Education.