By Laura Acuff, Opinion Editor
My home church recently saw five funerals in eight days. People came forward with confessing trails and sins no one could have suspected. It’s been a rough semester. I haven’t been around for most of it. Like many of you, I’ve been stressing about tests, looking forward to ACU domination at football games and wondering if the annual cricket plague will ever actually reach full force this fall.
But before I left my hometown to return to the ACU bubble community several weeks ago, one of the first of many metaphorical bombs dropped for my church when my best friend’s family came forward.
I grew up with this family and I respect and love them as much as my own, but I had no idea what they faced. I could never have predicted the particular trial they revealed. Turns out, neither could they.
Talking about it later, my friend’s mom told me, “The only reason I’m still standing is I’ve prepared for this.”
By “this,” she didn’t mean that ordeal. She meant an ordeal. Sometimes troubles are unpredictable, but the Bible tells us we can expect them, she said.
I knew that. Don’t we all? One of the major questions that inevitably comes up in studies of Christianity is how can a loving God let bad things happen to good people? I’ve heard several answers to this question and I’ve even settled on my own, one that satisfies my personal concerns, but that’s not what I want to talk about.
As humans we suffer what we consider to be disappointments and face challenges. More imminent than a question of why, perhaps, is, are we ready?
I’m not sure my friend and her family would ever say they were ready, but her mom did say she was prepared. Her daily devotions, faith and strong Christian relationships were holding her up when she needed help.
I’m not sure I’d ever thought of spiritual disciplines, my prayer life or my connection to a church in such active terms. I knew they were important. I knew that by nature, they needed continual improving. I even knew I would face trials. I’m not sure I recognized those efforts had such a direct connection to my future, that I would really need them-that when I most needed to rely on God, those would be the best how-to guides I could want.
At ACU, we maintain a very sheltered existence. Our studies often take on a Christian worldview very different from those many of us will face when we graduate and enter the workforce.
Sometimes, we seem to trudge apathetically toward graduation, acknowledging but never really appreciating the perspective such an education affords. Other times, we tend to view a Christian worldviewbased education as a handicap, leaving us unprepared to deal with the real world.
I’d like to suggest another viewpoint. Here, we have more time and resources to develop and explore our faiths than we may ever have at any other time in our lives. We know trials are coming. Let’s take advantage of what we have now and anchor our lives before any hurricanes hit.