I can still remember the day during my sophomore year at Messiah that I heard Brennan Manning speak in chapel. On that Thursday morning, as usual, I plopped down late with homework at my feet and friends to either side. I think it’s fair to say that I was a distracted college student. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life and I certainly didn’t have a clear sense of calling to much of anything except perhaps taking a few girls out for a couple of scoops of Turkey Hill ice cream on the weekend. I had grown up in the Turkey Hill family business and assumed that after I graduated I’d buy the company, become the president, and retire early with a wife and two kids.
Within minutes of Brennan’s introduction, however, I was focused in rapt attention. Before me stood this frail man in his 70s who had once lived in a desert cave for months in order to experience solitude, had been voluntarily incarcerated in order to share the Gospel with convicted felons, had worked on a shrimp boat in Alaska so he could witness to fishermen, and was admittedly a recovering alcoholic pulled out of the gutters of New York City. Suffice it to say, I was interested in this guy. As he spoke, I soaked in the love of Jesus Christ and felt a profound sense of what it was like to be Abba’s child.
By the time Brennan had finished to a standing ovation, I had dedicated my life to ministry and service. While I knew then that I wasn’t called to be the CEO of Turkey Hill, I didn’t know where my vocational path would take me—that I would eventually return to my alma mater first as the residence director of Mountain View Hall, then as Lilly Grant project manager, and currently as an educator and the director
of the Agapé Center for Service and Learning. Even though I now teach college students, I still get easily distracted by vocational questions that send me spiraling back to the places I have been before. Thankfully, Brennan often meets me there and reminds me of who I am—and that at the core of all my life’s vocational meandering rests a deeper
reality: I am loved by God.
—Chad Frey ’96 is the director of the Agapé Center for Service and Learning.
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