This October, I have my 20 year reunion from the Christian college I attended all those years ago. In reflecting on the four years I spent there I don't remember many details from my academic pursuits. What I do recall are images of support and encouragement, as well as a realization that I received a quality, personal education that helped prepare me on a "big picture" level.
I had the opportunity to run cross country and track all four years during college. We had a close-knit team that was a real blessing to me. I remember the names of those guys and still have contact with a couple of them. While I remember some successes and failures in races, I remember very well a coach we called "Bubba". Part coach, part cheerleader, and mostly spiritual mentor and advisor, I remember Bubba's favorite expressions, they went something like this: "Remember... God still loves you" and "God is good". The context may have changed, but the message was consistent.
At the time, it seemed my coach was pointing out the obvious and was not focused on the race or the training program at hand. At times I was critical of Bubba's approach. I now look back and understand that this man was much wiser and stronger than I ever gave him credit for. His point was simple... win the race, come in last place, fall down and not finish... get a "C" in class... "God still loves you." An elementary and unchanging truth that we as Christians don't often take the time to remember. Bubba reminded me, and it was those simple expressions, and the truth within them, that I recall twenty years later.
Bubba was a great coach because he was a godly man. He wanted me to run well, but all in the context of who I was in Christ. He understood that as someone approaches their twenty year reunion, the truth of God's love and goodness is what lasts - not a top ten finish in a race.
I also recall walking into my History of Philosophy
professor's office and being warmly greeted in a wonderful English accent by my professor. What's intriguing to this day is the fact that I don't think I had spoken a word in his class, or to him, until the day I walked into his office. Speaking in class would have required that I had a strong enough grasp of the philosophical concepts being discussed that I could muster up a somewhat intelligent question - a risk I was unwilling to take.
Although I had never given Dr. Holmes any reason to know who I was, his greeting that day assured me that he not only recognized me, but he was there to help. I look back now and wonder if this kind man was perhaps one of the strongest minds I've ever had the privilege to know. The conversation that I had with him that day was merely to get some direction about an assignment I was struggling to get started, but the impact of that greeting was significant. Perhaps it encapsulates my experience with the faculty and people I met during college.
These are just a couple of examples of why I'm glad I attended a Christian college.
I hope you'll surround yourself with folks like Dr. Holmes and Bubba, I believe that Christian colleges are full of them. Maybe I'll make the trip back to my twenty year reunion... I think Bubba is still around.
The Christian Connector, Inc.
"Christian College Grad 1987"