July 14 2009[ comments ]
Four Years in Cambridge
As I reflect back over my past four years in college, no small number of experiences and memories spring to mind as things I will remember as having formed and defined this period of my life. Sifting through thoughts of the friendships forged and classes passed, what ultimately stands out is the opportunity these four years have afforded me to immerse myself in the churchlife. I have had the privilege to attend college in a locality where I have been surrounded with families and serving ones who have given themselves to shepherd and open their homes to college students. The care of so many saints of all ages and the opportunity to pursue the Lord with fellow students has kept me in the church life and taught me to know the Lord as the corporate “Me” He revealed to Paul on the road to Damascus.
My freshman year, a family who lived a couple blocks from campus held a dinner for students every Monday night. Aware of the ever-present academic pressures we juggled, they were punctual with the time: we would arrive, eat, sing a few songs, then, especially as the weather got cold, they would insist on driving us all back to our dorms. On at least one occasion when I had to stay home to study, I would get a knock on my door later that evening to find one of the other students delivering a plateful of home-cooked food. Those weekly dinners and simple times of singing and fellowship cherished my spirit, soul, and body, and opened a way for me, over the subsequent three years, to find in that older, caring couple a set of spiritual parents who not only fed my physically but became some to whom I could open my concerns and with whom I could pray.
My spiritual companions on campus have also been a merciful provision from the Lord to keep me pursuing Him in His Body. As club activities, we have had Bible studies and morning revival together once a week; these have been rich, but most precious to me have been our simple times of prayer. Sporadically beginning freshman year and more consistently over the past two, a small group of usually three to four of us have gathered weekly in one student’s dorm room to pray. Often short, those times afforded a much-needed time for each of us to step out of a stressful environment and touch the throne of God in our spirit as we prayed for each other, for our campus, and for the Lord’s move on the earth. What grace our God affords when we join ourselves to His heart’s desire and allow Him to lift us out of ourselves into the Holy of Holies. We simultaneously touch God and are knit in love with those on the earth in whom He is also operating.
These times of pursuit with the fellow lovers and seekers the Lord has placed around me have taught me how to treasure real prayer and fellowship in His Body. They have been not only an enjoyment, but vital nourishment that has allowed me to grow these past four years.