I had a rough go at it last Thursday. I have three hours between my two classes, and I was not in the best of moods for a portion of these hours. Sad actually, flat out unhappy, that was my state. Why, well, there were a few reasons? But the “why” doesn’t matter here. What matters is what I do next.
Here I am, sitting in one of two parking spots that charge my white 2017 Chevy Volt. These particular spots are directly in front of the science building. As I sit, sobbing in clear view of who still appear to me as an adolescent student majority, anxiously and awkwardly maneuvering the sidewalks. This wouldn’t be the case had a select few users of the “K” parking lot not intruded in the charging spots with the big red signs hanging above them reading, “For echarging vehicles ONLY.” Then I would at least be in the cover of mild darkness to sulk. Nonetheless, there I sat, I digress.
Like I said… rough day. Add a botched Afghanistan withdrawal, a couple of highly unwanted text messages, and we got ourselves a pity party, people. I was so bummed, and then it hit me. I attend a Christian university, and right now, I’d say I’m in a bit of need.
Now, here’s the thing. I have many people I trust and could reach out to and confide in at this particular moment, but something was stopping me. There’s something about using what’s at your immediate disposal. There will be times when what we want or hope to have is not available, and all we have is what’s at our disposal.
I’m at a Christ-centered university. Indeed if there’s something I need right now, I must be in the right place to find it. I opened my computer and looked at the office hours for the professors of my biblical classes. Not to any surprise at all, open slot in 20min, and just in time for me to be able to make it to my next class.
I get to her office, take a seat. Both masked, she asks, “How can I help you, Chris?” My response, Can I tell you a story?
Just like that, I was free. Free from whatever burden I was holding, the pain I was feeling, I handed it over. I was free to go to my next class and be free for what’s next. Funny story, what was next was a delightful conversation with a 19-year-old from Riverside who had this to say.
When the pandemic hit, all I could think about was what I’d been trained to do. I’m a White female raised in an all-White family and taught from an Anglosaxan historical perspective my whole life. School, college, job, married, kids, retire and die. It’s that simple, that’s what I’m supposed to do, then this happened, and I was like what?Biola student
Yup, and I’ve chosen the no context route because her words are pure gold in their own right. And you know what else? I was able to lovingly and honestly engage with her, only because I was free too.
This is a practice.