You know you’ve seen the Buzzfeed lists: “15 Signs You Go to a Christian School” or “25 Things You See on a Christian Campus.” These articles may point out truths, but their satirical tone towards Christians irks me more than amuses me. God has brought me to a Christian campus, and my life has not been the same. For the past three years my relationship with my Savior has grown leaps and bounds and the change in me can prove it. When I walk around my campus I see beautiful things that can only be God inspired. Instead of making fun of them, we should take the time to appreciate the small but beautiful things that God has blessed us with.
So here is my list of observations: “10 Beauties of Living on a Christian Campus”
1. Guys who pray
Any form of prayer even for the most mundane situations is a reminder that God is in control of the smallest things in life. I smile whenever I see men of God take the time out of their day to stop and sincerely pray for a friend. Sometimes I even see a group of guys standing off to the side of a building in the middle of the day with arms around each other in prayer.
2. Enjoying a sunny day with a blanket and a Bible
Reading the Bible is not an expression of “Holier than thou” it is an expression of the desire to know God and grow closer to Him. Using the opportunities God gives you to enjoy communing with Him is far more enjoyable than staying cooped up inside on Facebook.
3. Random worship
Worship is not when groups of people get together to hand raise or sing for no reason, it is an outlet for thanks and praise to the One who created us. It is a feeling of peace and thankfulness that comes out in different ways. I walked into the prayer chapel to see a girl on her knees singing her heart out to God no matter who else was in there to hear. It was humbling to see her sharing her form of worship with no shame whatsoever.
4. Random acts of kindness
Ever since I came to this school I have noticed that it is a regular practice among students in the cafeteria to take each other’s dishes to the dish return. It is a small gesture, but it makes me smile every time and encourages me to do the same for others. I have also observed students reaching out to strangers. Just last week I watched a guy leave his group of friends to sit with another guy who was sitting by himself. Not only does it take someone out of their comfort zone, but it also opens up new opportunities to make an impact.
5. Praying teachers
Each class is opened with the teacher saying a prayer. Though it may seem tedious it opens up avenues of connection between the teachers and the students. I am comforted whenever teachers ask for prayer requests because it shows that they actually care about what is going on with each student.
6. Bible studies galore
Bible studies may not always sound exciting, but they actually are great places to get involved. Going to a Bible study not only connects you to fellow seeking Christians, but they also provide a means for encouragement. There is nothing better than feeling invited by a group of students who are focusing on important matters in life and ways to be a better person.
7. Ring by Spring
Whereas the “ring by spring” mentality really shouldn’t be encouraged, it is what it represents that is beautiful. Couples on this campus promote keeping God in the center of your relationship, and how to stay strong in resisting temptations. As difficult as it is, I don’t see anything wrong with morals that help build a strong foundation for a relationship rather than seeing how many times you can get your heart broken in a year.
Chapel may be a requirement throughout the week and there will be times where you don’t want to go, but I have realized after three years that Chapel is designed to give you a breath of fresh air from a stressful morning and prepare you for the day ahead. It is a brief time to thank God for the day and listen to a message reminding you that God is in control of your life for a glorious reason. For those who don’t walk into Chapel with a positive attitude, you are bound to snicker, make negative comments, and probably fall asleep. I would rather use the mandatory hour of my day to glorify God rather than waste my time complaining.
9. Designated prayer places
You can pray whenever wherever, but I think that it is beautiful that the campus has places dedicated to prayer. There are outside fountains or ponds to sit next to on a shiny day. When it is cloudy and rainy, there is a little chapel specially designed to relieve stress by praying. There are even boxes for prayer requests if you want a prayer to be made known to others. A campus that realizes the importance of communicating with God is a place where I like to be.
10. Random prayer
I was in the prayer chapel one school day and a girl sat down beside me and introduced herself. She asked me if I had anything that she could pray for and once I told her she asked if she could pray with me in that moment. She touched my hand and began to pray. As I listened to her voice, I couldn’t help but smile at her bold and kind heart. Selfless people are made from girls like her. The simplest things can brighten up one’s day and knowing that God smiles at such kindness makes it all worth while.
You will notice that many of my observations include prayer. I don’t think Paul was joking when he said in the Bible to “pray without ceasing.” In my experience focusing on God is infinitely more rewarding that fulfilling immediate needs and desires. Even though we as students have come to get a higher education it is more important to me that I leave here with a stronger relationship with God than a piece of paper to hang on my wall. God defines us, not what college we graduate from and not how many degrees we have framed. So no matter what college you attend be it public or Christian, let God show you the beauty of His love that surrounds you.
1 Thessalonians 5:17, Proverbs 27:17, 1 Corinthians 10:24, 1 Chronicles 16:11, Galations 5:22-23, Luke 6:35