Cook Encourages Journey Fulfilled by Truths

September 8, 2000

Presenting students with two questions and truths about the journey their lives will take them on, Dr. Gary Cook, pastor of First Baptist Church in Lawton, described his own life journey during Oklahoma Baptist University's first September chapel service Wednesday.

Reading from Genesis 12:1-5, Cook said that Abraham's life was a journey that never seemed to end.

The first truth, Cook said, is the fact that alienation can accompany a traveler whose journey is successful.

"Not everyone will be headed in the same direction that you are," he said. "The world desperately needs you to provide a presence of blessing."

The second truth Cook presented was an evaluation of one's final destination on the journey.

"Life on earth is more about journey than destination," he said. "Abraham never arrives at his destination. That which really does make life interesting is not just arrival but survival."

Cook posed questions for students to consider as they prepare for the continuing journey.

"Will you walk by faith or by sight," Cook asked. "It is your right to decide if you will only walk by sight."

Walking only by sight means that there is no allowance for ambiguity in life, he said, or that which is not understood 100 percent.

"What are you going to take with you?" Cook asked students in his second question. "In a very real sense, I think a college education is a time when you decide what you value in life."

Cook, a 1964 graduate of OBU, described friendships he made in college that had enriched the rest of his life.

He also described an abstract concept he learned in college.

"I left here with something I did not have when I came," he said. "Curiosity. My transcript is not truly a record of all I learned here.

"My hope for you is that you will discover the journey is well worth making," he said. "And when yours is complete, that grace will lead you home."

Cook, an Ardmore native, earned a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1967 and a doctorate of ministry degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1986.

Cook and his wife Linda have two grown children.