“If I am going to keep my head above water I need to hear everything the professor is saying.” Those were my thoughts as I struggled in an engineering class I was taking decades ago at the U.S. Naval Academy.
I do not recall which class it was, but I do remember having a difficult time. Looking to my left, I noticed my friend Paul was not struggling at all. He was sitting there…
writing music! I realized then he was operating on a very different plane of performance than most of us.
Who is he?
Paul Robert Kleindorfer, affectionately knows “Moose,” by his U.S. Naval Academy classmates is one of the brightest men I have ever known. Upon arriving at the Naval Academy from North Judson, Indiana, U.S.A., Moose distinguished himself not only in academics, but also on the athletic field, the glee club, choir, and concert band. In spite of his accomplishments, I remember him for his good nature and outstanding sense of humor.
Following graduation, Moose took an officer’s commission in the Army. My wife, Ann, and I enjoyed visiting with him in Pensacola, Florida where I was going through Naval Flight Training while he was going through Special Forces training at Eglin Air Force Base. That was the last time I would see Moose for many years.
Today Moose, or more Dr. Kleindorfer, is a distinguished research professor in technology and operations management at INSEAD, the Business School for the World.
He also is professor emeritus of management science at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and has held university appointments at Carnegie Mellon University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Wharton School, and several universities and international research institutes. He has published more than 25 books and numerous research papers.
The last time we saw
The last time I saw Moose was at the 50th reunion of our Naval Academy class. Moose informed us then that he has what is known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS), a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.
Since he and his wife live in Paris, it is not easy to keep up with the state of his health, but recently Moose gave us an update on his condition via e-mail. The disease has taken such a toll he is now dependent on others for his most basic needs.
The note he sent ended by saying, “The best is yet to come.” I do not know if I have ever been more moved or inspired than I was by those words of hope written by my friend Moose. Only a man who knows God can speak of his future with such certainty.
The Bible says: “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life: he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11,12).
This passage says to me is that in God’s eternal plan, there are two kinds of people, and in the end, it is not our accomplishments but our relationship with Christ that matters.
Here comes the question?
If you were in Paul’s situation, could you also say, “The best is yet to come”?
Fritz Klumpp and his wife, Ann, live in Ashland, Virginia, U.S.A. He was a U.S. Navy pilot, having served during the Vietnam War, retired after a career as a jet pilot for Delta Air Lines, served several years as executive director for CBMC-USA, and has been in the real estate business. He has a website, http://fritzklumpp.com.
Also, Read this post here, When things seem not to go as planned, it will help you.