“Tomorrow” in memoriam Dr. Gary North
- February 26, 2022
- Steve Macias
For years I would ask Dr. North a question and he would simply reply “Tomorrow” – which meant he was going to think it over and give me a full answer the next day. He encouraged me, challenged me, and even berated me from time to time.
In times of mental darkness, Dr. North had the ability to set me straight and refill my soul with hope. His “by 20-30-40” remains an essential part of my “adult metrics.” (link “Three Milestones”)
Years ago, when I was lamenting the hurdles of church bureaucracy and my sense of calling in the Anglican world, Dr. North told me to just get started: to post my work, my sermons, etc., and to “do an end-run” on the “gatekeepers.” In Dr. North’s view, the preaching pastor has to open himself up to criticism. Term papers and “Canons to the Ordinary” were insufficient. The proof of call is found in the process of doing the work. Put yourself out there and let the calling come.
In his typical terse and to-the-point way of speaking, he wrote: “There is a reason why the vast majority of preachers never put their sermons on YouTube. The reason is simple: they are mediocre preachers, and they know it.”
I’m still a mediocre preacher, but Dr. North gifted me a long view of my calling. (Strangely enough, when I was interviewed for my current role as Rector at St. Paul’s they remarked, “we’ve watched your sermons online.”)
When I was close to giving up, He reminded me that I hadn’t yet started: “So, what if it takes 25 years?” He wrote, “Wear a black robe and a flip-back collar. Build the church. Bide your time.”
Dr. North has gone to be with the Lord and to his eternal reward. No more “tomorrow emails” for me. St. James teaches, “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” Dr. North’s life was an example of vapor turning to steam. Day after day he chugged along like a train of a man pulling us along the tracks of life. Producing a seemingly endless supply of articles, books, and videos.
We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but what we DO today will certainly transform how we encounter tomorrow.
Full Obituary of Dr. Gary North:
When Gary Kilgore North passed away on February 24, 2022, at the age of 80, he left behind a massive storehouse of Christian scholarship without parallel in the modern church. For nearly fifty-five straight and solid years he applied himself as a craftsman with single-mind devotion to researching, writing, and speaking about God’s world from the perspective of God’s Word. While he lived his work benefited his large readership around the world. For generations to come it will be of great use to the Church of his Lord Jesus Christ.
Read More here.