Resident, The Village
Bruce Haddox was born and raised in Central Florida and graduated from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. His seminary degree is from Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and after earning it, he received a master of arts degree in philosophy from Florida State University, and a Ph.D. in religion from Duke University in North Carolina. He has lived in Indianola since 1969, and retired from academics in 2006. He and his wife of 56 years, Bette, have lived at The Village since 2014. They are active members of the First United Methodist Church in Indianola, where Bruce has taught a Sunday school class since 1971. Bruce stays busy teaching courses at the church, taking part in two book clubs, and being "Papa" to two grandsons.
Read the Transcript of Bruce's Devotional:
Only after my father and mother died did I began to appreciate just how much they had shaped my life. They influenced what I believe, how I act, even the way I deal with other people. Of course, this shaping has continued throughout my life. My wife, my children, my friends, the people with whom I have worked and played — and all the communities of which I have been a part — have worked to mold me as I in turn have helped to mold them. And the same is true of everyone. We cannot think about ourselves without, at the same time, being aware of all the relationships we have had throughout our lives. We are a part of a much larger corporate life. We are all a part of each other.
The scriptures chosen for this WesleyLife Week speak directly to what I am talking about. In Deuteronomy 6:10, the writer says this: “When the Lord brings you into the Land he promised your fathers, you will live in cities you did not build, you will drink out of wells you did not dig, you will eat in the vineyards you did not plant.”
Here, the Deuteronomist exhorts us to never forget how intimately we are bound to a whole host of others, most of whom we do not even know.
And the scripture from Ephesians 2:10 goes a step farther, giving us a theological framework for understanding this. It says: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us.”
The message to us is this: The meaning of all that has happened to us and is happening to us now is that God is in it, working to shape us in Christ to do good in our world. God does this, of course, by giving us our daily tasks to do, by giving us the people we share our days with, by giving us the communities we live in. Through all this, God is working to make us to be more like Christ, to do good works in our daily lives, whether we live in WesleyLife communities or work in them. Every day, for each one of us, God is trying to shape us to do good, to do God’s work.
The theme of Wesley Life Week is “The Power of Purpose.” Today, we are reminded that our purpose is to be God’s handiwork — to be God’s means of doing good, wherever we are. What a powerful thought!