Enjoy this reflection from 2nd year student, and Ministry Assistant, Emma Hutchinson. Also, Emma is leading a small group on Mondays at 2:00. This group will be taking a deeper look at Romans and wondering about its message for our time. If you are a King’s student, email Tim Wood @ firstname.lastname@example.org, to join Emma’s group!
It’s the first day of classes and it’s so wonderful to be back! It may look a little (or a lot) different, but once again we have the opportunity to be on campus or online, taking courses and seeing our friends and professors. Since March, I have been realizing more and more what a blessing it is to be here, and how much I took that for granted last year. Throughout my education I have often been reminded of how blessed I am to be able to devote leisure to learning—that I have the free time to devote to studying something that interests me—but being deprived of the opportunity to go to in-person classes at the end of last semester made me realize just what a gift it is to be here. After all, at what other point in my life will I be able to devote so much time to studying the things I love in the company of so many like-minded people? Chances are I won’t have a season like this again in my life. It is making me realize just how valuable this time is.
As a university student, I sometimes struggle to be intentional with my time and have balance in my life. It is so easy to spend so much time studying that I ignore my friends—or to spend so much time with my friends that I ignore my homework. Even if I get the balance between those right, it can be a challenge to keep up with spiritual disciplines. After all, my schedule changes every semester, I’m extremely busy, and sometimes I just forget to sit down and spend time in prayer. I struggle to be just as intentional about having my daily quiet time with God as I am about finishing my homework on time—but also to make sure that my relationship with God isn’t reduced to an item on a to-do list.
That is one reason why I’m excited to be joining the ministry assistant team this year. While I see my role as a servant leader, serving others and pointing them toward Christ, I also see this as a great opportunity for me to learn and grow in my own faith, becoming more intentional in growing in my relationship with God. The beginning of a new school year is a great time to renew commitments, and make a habit out of walking with Christ. I’m especially excited to go through the book of Romans as a community this year, because the Christian life is not meant to be lived alone, but walked in community. I’m hoping to learn from the insights of students, staff, and faculty as we meet on Wednesdays for our larger gatherings, and in smaller groups throughout the week. My hope is that this greater focus on Scripture will be inspiring for the King’s community, and will foster discussions all week and all semester long.
I will admit that as a new MA I’m a little nervous. This is the first time I’ve done anything quite like this, and all the unknowns can be very nerve-wracking. I’m grateful to be supported by such a great team, but also somewhat fearful of following this new calling that God has given me.
I do know that I’m not the only one trying something new this year. Many of you are new students, adjusting to your first year of university classes. Many of you have just moved into residence, or are trying online classes for the first time. Staff and faculty are adapting to new ways of working and teaching. Many of you are facing other challenges or opportunities that are bringing change, possibly unwanted, into your lives. This is a time when it’s going to be really important to give each other grace and be patient with each other, and I’m confident that the King’s community is up to the challenge. My first year at King’s, only last year, was amazing, mainly because I was surrounded by such a great and supportive community. I found great friends in residence, through campus ministries, and other places. My hope for new students this year is that they will be able to experience the great community that makes King’s unique, despite the strange times we are experiencing. That is something that makes me really excited to be an MA, because I get to be a small part of making that happen.
So welcome, or welcome back! I’m so glad you’re a part of this community, and I hope you’ll dive in and join us in studying Romans this year. None of us knows what this year will bring, but we do know the God we serve, and that is something we can hold onto, in spite of our nervousness and fear. May we have a semester of hope!