Despite last week's post definitely being on the somber side of things, we have much reason to be positive. Great things are happening here.
I just finished meeting with one of our student leaders. We discussed the themes of pressure, worry, and anxiety. These are things we certainly all face, but this student is facing them in a unique context: he's working on taking his MCATs and applying for medical schools. As a physician, and in the years leading up to that time, he'll be constantly facing down those issues: pressure, worry, and anxiety. One source of this for him comes in the form of competition. His acceptance to a good medical school depends upon his ranking in comparison to his peers, which will depend for now entirely on numbers: GPA, MCAT scores, etc. The competition is fierce, with everyone trying to outdo one another. One of his solutions to dealing with this competitive stress struck a chord with me: gratitude. In situations where the pressure is on, this young man thanks the Lord for His gracious provision and presence in his life. He is practicing Philippians 4:6-7:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard you hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
Katie and I are often thinking about ways we can help our students to take what they're learning now, and translate it into their future context, whether it be their workplace, family, church, or neighborhood. We desire to see our students walk with Christ and labor for His kingdom for a lifetime, not just during their days at university.
To assist in these efforts, we invited Bryan and Pam Bloom to share during a dinner at our house with student leaders (pictured above). Bryan and Pam were involved with the Illini Navigators...thirty years ago! They brought a unique perspective to our students about what it takes to make a difference in God's Kingdom for a lifetime. We appreciated their insight, and passion to help our students.
Please pray for our student leaders, that through the equipping they are receiving now, God would bear fruit in their lives...for a lifetime!