August 30, 2006

Why We Do What We Do

Well, the class of 2010 has begun classes here at A&M and every college campus in the nation. I was thinking today about how when Kyle and I first came here, we were only a few years (if that) older than the students we served. Doing the math today, I realized Kyle is now 14 years older than most freshmen and I am (merely) 12 years older! We have gone from being somewhat of a peer to now being "the establishment" or "an old married couple".

Now I say things like, "Back in my day, A&M...." and finish the sentence with how things looked different on campus (no Reed arena, no library annex, we studied in the browsing library which is now a student activities office, parking lots, the Commons weren't renovated, the MSC was 1960's retro, etc.), different around town (shall I count the many eating establishments students have to choose from that we didnt?), and different at Central.

The other day I counted myself in their generation in a talk and they actually laughed at me. We're old...We have a mortgage, 2.0 kids, and we have to go to bed at 10:30 or we won't make it through the next day.

But we continue to subject ourselves to the college life even though we're long past it. What have we subjected ourselves to over the years? What I can remember off the top of my head...
  • holing up in our house on home football game weekends b/c we live in a college town
  • a wedding invitation practically everyday and all that seem close enough to buy a gift
  • a porta potty on our front porch, placed there by students (Ryan Walker) who then had to get ready for Ring Dance and had no time to come take it away
  • Speaking of things left on our porch....the bottom half of an old mannequin anyone?
  • getting invited to all night slumber parties with sophomore girls (Cathalina!)
  • endless games of schlerbel (and bodies that are getting too old to go diving across the floor)
  • getting our yard forked and our driveway chalked countless times
  • getting attacked in your bed in the middle of the night by a Steve Erwin wanna-be
  • going on something like 25-30 retreats in the 5 years we've been here
  • getting asked by a freshman, "have you ever been on the internet?"
  • being a single mom on Sundays
  • attracting names like Stumpy and Handheld Hoover (for Will, by Mr. Kyle Caperton)
  • getting stared at or asked "aren't you the worship guy at Central?"
  • having to say goodbye to our leaders every year and starting all over every year
  • sitting on broken down ski trip buses in the middle of nowhere, Colorado
  • hearing students say, while staring at your wedding picture, "wow, that doesn't even look like you"
  • throwing sheep on people in the middle of the night
  • being criticized or misunderstood

Before I sound like an old codger, let me tell you what Kyle reminded me and all the student leaders the other day. The reason we do what we do is because we love Jesus. As Kyle says, if we had to drink prune juice every morning as a requirement to do what we do, we would gladly do it in order to serve Jesus. The love of Christ compels us (2 cor 5:14) and because of that we love our students, the traffic they create on Texas, and the grossly dirty carpet we have because of them. And not to mention, we have not even had to experience what Paul experienced:

"But in all things, wec ommend ourselves as ministers of God; in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresseds, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fasting; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." 2 Cor 6:4-10

I'll take this life any day!! Thank you, Lord.