Edward Marx is a happy man. He is living the American Dream, that paragon of imagined success that seems somewhat elusive these days. He has a great wife. He has great kids. He has a great alma mater.
Edward Marx sits on the other side of 20 years — 20 years since his entry as a freshman at CSU. Twenty years that shaped and molded him as a citizen; as a man; as a human being.
He met his wife in the courtyard of Corbett Hall, the first day of classes his freshman year. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, stayed on to get a Master’s in Design, Merchandising and Consumer studies, and sits today in an office overlooking Lake Erie as the Deputy Chief Information Officer with University Hospital Health Systems.
He still has the same wife, and a couple of kids. By most accounts, Edward Marx is a lucky man.
But good choices and bad choices, good luck and bad seem somewhat arbitrary in a world where one’s fortune can be lost in a few days of Wall Street madness, and one’s life can be irrevocably altered in the course of a morning. Ask those for whom tomorrow’s anniversary strikes the most poignantly sorrowful.
Marx figured out 20 years ago the courses of our lives often seem out of our hands entirely. He entered CSU with the typically freshman feeling of triumph and invincibility, certain that for success in life you need just four simple ingredients: money, a car, some kind of athletic fame, and the right girl on your arm. Marx entered CSU with all of these, ready to take the world by storm.
But there were greater forces at play. He found himself eventually disillusioned, realizing that no matter what he did, he never felt fulfilled. He began drinking as a way to fill the void but the emptiness gnawed more doggedly. He found that the more he drank, the more he partied, the more he let his grades slip into oblivion, the more hollow he became.
Desperate, he began seeking some answers. “Various individuals began to challenge me,” he said. “People in my family, people from Campus Crusade. I just thought I’d begin to explore.”
Marx’s search ended in Jesus.
“There are a lot of things that have contributed to my success,” he said. “I have a great CSU education. I have a truly supportive wife. But fundamentally, it’s God’s activity in my life. God rescued me from a bad situation. I felt like my world was coming to an end.”
Marx is convinced that without the active grace of Christ in his life, a grace that he feels is manifested daily over the course of his life, he would not be where he is today.
It’s not about the monetary success, he said. It’s about fundamentally changing as a person. His personality changed.
“God makes eternal changes in people’s lives.” Marx said. “Looking at things scientifically, there are things that happened in my life that could not have happened if there were not a loving God in control of it.”
Sitting on the other side of 20 years, there is not a time that Marx feels abandoned by his God. Struggles have come about, as they always do in this nasty, brutish and short life, but Marx has always felt a peace, convinced that God is present and active in his life.
“College is an awesome time,” he said. “Don’t squander it by having a wild time. If you find yourself in trouble, don’t give up. Don’t drop out. Seek out deeper, more spiritual things. Keep pushing, keep searching.”
Edward Marx has found his answers.