Well, second semester has begun! I trust that we all got much-needed rest, time with family, and a wholesome fill of Christmas cookies...
First semester was quite the whirlwind! From moving into the dorms, attending social events, adjusting to classes, it all went by pretty quickly- at least for this freshman.
As second semester comes back in full swing, I am reminded about what it has been like being in the Honors College.
Is it just me, or does it feel like in the flurry that we call 'college life', the more important things tend to get swept under the rug? In the bustle of class, lunch, essays, and daily schedules, the bigger picture is left forgotten. It's easy to say that we should all take some time to stop and reflect, but how many of us really do that?
I think that is what Honors has been for me. It was the time where I could step out of the monotony and talk about the big things. I could take a deep breath and learn about the greater picture, what is and what could be, and think about what I really believed about important but oft-forgotten things.
As Christians, we should take heed that we don't fall into the trap of being stuck in the moment. "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." (Colossians 3:1-2)
This is what Christ calls us to.
As Christians studying here at NNU, our goals statement says that our education strives to create a transformation of the whole person to become God’s creative and redemptive agent in the world. I think that is where we often go wrong; when we as Christians fail to wrestle with the hard things. We put our noses in our textbooks and refuse to look up. We become blind to the world around us, the suffering, the searching, and the big things.
And if we do see, we shy away. Why? Because often, we become caught up in our own ideas and beliefs and we never struggle with ones that we don’t agree with. We don’t open our eyes to the world around us, or dare to see theology from someone else’s point of view. Maybe we should. That is what Honors helped me to do.
It was not always comfortable, by any means. My own beliefs were challenged and that can be hard. But the discussions we had in class helped me to dare to think beyond the Christian box, and to try to feel and think as someone else did. To really realize that you don’t know everything (hard-headed freshman though I may be) helps you to see the world through others point of view. To look up from the day-to-day.
If we have never thought about the hard things, the other ideas, the hard truth about persecution, pain and suffering, and the many viewpoints that writers throughout the centuries have on these things, will we be able to really be redemptive agents in our world?
An understanding of the schools of thought that have shaped the world we live in today is central to being the well-rounded Christian.
If we do not open ourselves to the thoughts of others, if we only close our intellects to our own concepts of the world, will we ever be capable of doing what we are called to in 1 Peter 3:15? “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
So as we all go out bravely into the spring semester, I hope we can look up and think about the big things too.