You’re In a Great Place…Honest…Really…
I’m carving on the Easter post (and the bunny is carving up nicely) but this is so good I had to regear.You know that place you’re in? That campus? The place where the workload gets so heavy that the backpacks can make everybody at Notre Dame a hunchback. The place where traffic coming and going between day classes and night school makes every parking lot roller derby with cars not to mention a death trap for pedestrians. And the campus decides that another parking lot has to die to make way for a new building you will never have a class in only to leave you helicoptering in from the auxiliary lot in Newfoundland. The place that, on long dull winter weekends, makes a western ghost town look like Disney World. The place where a succession of offbeat, noisy, inconsiderate, unsanitary (I’m sorry) and sublingual roommate choices make you wonder if you have a rubber duckee floating in your gene pool. The place where Christianity often gets publicly disrespected and/or challenged - in classes, in the campus newspaper, on bulletin boards and by other student groups. That place.
What a great place! The first Christians tested their wings in a place just like your campus. Think about it. They lived in a world where almost everybody believed something different from them and weren’t above being nasty about expressing their disagreement. Some things spread about the Christians were not only false but slanderous. The first Christians lived their daily lives surrounded by people who needed Jesus Christ. In biblical cities and towns, the streets were often extremely narrow – sometimes as cozy as six feet. That person needing Jesus might only be six feet away (coincidentally, just about the width of the hall outside most dorm rooms or apartments.) That closeness also made it possible for the Christians to be in and out of each other’s lives daily – again just like on campus. In fact, the intimacy enjoyed by campus Christians will be extremely difficult to replicate after graduation. So jump on it now and don’t take it for granted.
Faith is like a muscle; muscles grow by working against resistance. When things get tough, like groups being threatened with being kicked off campus, God has you in a really good place. Read Acts 4:1-31. The faith is still taking baby steps. Peter and John heal a guy in the temple and get hauled in front of the same religious leaders who conspired to murder Jesus. Snuffing out a couple of fishermen will be no big thing. They threaten the two who go back to the church and tell what happened. What then? The Christians go ballistic! Who are these puppets Herod and Pilate? They don’t like miracles? We got your miracles right here,baby! When your group gets hassled, the campus paper takes an editorial shot, a prof attacks or makes snide comments about a Christian perspective on something, or you take a hit gradewise because your biblical worldview isn’t respected, the Holy Spirit, your personal trainer, is putting you through a workout. Living faithfully against resistance builds spiritual strength. The more manure, the better the tomatoes.
Don’t believe me yet? The New York Times and the Harvard Crimson back me up. And just a word for anyone going to a Christian college. I should preface by saying I went to a Christian college for a year and that I recently was on campus at one of the most well-known Christian colleges in America. I’m jealous of all the Christian worldview and Bible study that students can pack under their belt. But unless we get off campus to get dirt on our salvation and the spiritual equivalent of a bloody nose, Christian college may little more than the gateway to the Christian ghetto. Christian books. Christian movies. Christian music. Christian baby clothes. Christian pets. Christian grass. Living in the Christian womb makes us wimps, and ugly wimps at that.
“…greater is he who is in you than he that is in the world.” (I John 4:4, ESV). Is this true or not? If so, then let’s give ourselves a whack when we start complaining how tough things are on campus. Jesus is tougher. When the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, He basically said, “The reason I’m here is out there; so the large group meeting is over. Go get them.”
Your campus is a terrific place…really…honest. A great place to put on the sweats and build faith muscle, to become holy and bold, to become broken over the things that break God’s heart, to burn with the love of Jesus.
Please return your seat to the upright position and give your infrared night vision goggles to the attendant at the rear as you leave. See you next time at geezeronthequad.com.