I had been in the Middle East three days, and on a Friday, the Muslim holy day, I found myself in a crowded mosque during Salat.
I was overwhelmed when I was hissed at and had my ankles slapped by older women who recognized me as foreign. I was only there to study and observe, but instead I was standing in the middle of a group of women while hundreds of Muslims bowed down in unison to something other than the God I worship.
I didn’t understand it. I couldn’t comprehend entire nations perishing in bondage or my own privileged existence in a land where Christians are free but do not embrace or use that freedom.
Five months later I sat in Chapel not quite sure what to expect because I had heard so many awful things from friends that were here, but I was simply amazed at what I experienced. There were around 4,000 children of God worshipping Him in spirit and in truth with freedom.
When you realize what a minority you are as a Christian, you can stand in awe of the blessing God has given you.
God does not need our worship; our ability to worship is a gift from God for our benefit. Chapel is not a prison sentence, it is a privilege and I am truly grateful for the direction Chapel has taken. Muslims interrupt their jobs five times a day to bow and pray towards Mecca, yet we have the audacity to complain about the 30 minutes we get to spend together as believers every day.
The only disturbing aspect of Chapel that I found upon my return was the students’ lack of respect for their peers.
Chapel will be as good as each individual student wants to make it. You disrespect God by declaring that one of His creations is not worthy of your attention or at least your silence.
Another admirable trait that I witnessed in Muslims is their incredible respect for their elders. When the aged spoke, the young listened because they realized the wealth of wisdom that their elders possessed. We are young and have so much to learn from those who value us enough to invest their time in teaching.
I challenge every student to rise above their individualism and realize exactly how unique Chapel really is, and I want to say thank you to those involved with Chapel for their leadership.
junior sociology major from Olney