Friday, November 13, 2015

One of the Most Important Decisions I Made

It's one decision I made that I don't regret. Two years of my life that changed my life and that I now couldn't imagine not having experienced.

I'm talking about the two years I spent at Briercrest College. 

Farm field on edge of Caronport, with a beautiful clear, blue sky
I've been thinking about this a lot today. I had lunch with some alumni and the president of the school today. Hearing an update about what is going on and talking about leadership together.

I've shared with lots of people over the years, why I wouldn't trade those two years for anything. But, I don't know if I've sat down and put them all together until now. 

In no particular order, here are the reasons I don't regret making the decision to go to Briercrest for two years:

I went deeper in my understanding of the Bible and what it meant for my life

I grew up reading my Bible and hearing good sermons. I knew the importance of knowing what the Bible said. I studied it regularly. At Briercrest, I learned to study my Bible even more. I gained a deeper understanding of what it has to say to us. My love for the Word of God was fostered and grown, by professors and other staff who obviously deeply loved the Word of God themselves.

I made friendships that are still important to me today

There's something about living in a dorm with 20 other people, about living in an environment where you're all making the choice to follow God with your lives, and the friendships that develop through that. As we lived life together, we really got to know each other. And those are still some of the people I call when things happen.

I had the opportunity to figure out who I was without being put into a box based on my family

I consider it a privilege that I got to grow up in the same church my Mom did and to have had so much family around during that time. But, it also made it hard sometimes to figure out who God had made me to be as His child, when people saw me as part my family and what they had always done. Briercrest was the place where I could start figuring that out. I had the chance to try different ministry opportunities and to learn what I was supposed to do.

I'm sure there's lots more I could write about why I don't regret making the decision to go to Briercrest, but those would be the three biggest reasons for me. 

The most important lesson I learned

There's one story from then that really left a mark on me. It's one seemingly small thing that changed a lot in how I handle interactions with people.

It was freshmen registration day. In the place where I picked up my confirmed class schedule for that first semester, I met one of the professors at the school. He was friendly and we talked a bit about my classes.

I thought nothing of it, until about a week later, I saw him the hallway between classes. He stopped and asked me by name how my first week had gone. The day I met him, he met at least a hundred other students he didn't know before, and a week later, he still remembered my name and stopped to ask me how things were.

I've never been able to forget that moment. This fall is twelve years since that moment happened in the hallway and it's still there like it happened yesterday.

This is probably one of the moments that had the biggest impact on me . . . a professor, who wasn't even one who taught a class I was taking, took the time to remember my name and to see how my first week had gone. 

There's power in noticing people and caring. That's probably one of the most life-changing lessons I've ever learned. When I notice and care about the people around me, it can change everything for them. And it costs me nothing to do that.

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