Walking on the John Brown University campus, one can see a large variety of individuals. Everyone is involved in different activities, whether that is sports, writing for the paper or singing in the choir. Students express themselves differently by how they dress and what they say and do. The one thing that almost every student has in common is that they proclaim to believe in Jesus Christ.
Being a Christian is not a requirement to come to JBU, even though it is a private Christian school. Faith is something that is interwoven into every class.
I can honestly say that I love that about JBU. The atmosphere of the school is rare and difficult to find.
I have been at school here for almost two years, and there are so many things I love about JBU and the people that inhabit it. Almost everywhere I look, people are ready with a smile and a “Hello! How are you?” Every professor works to integrate faith into the classroom, and they spend quality time with each student.
I have made incredible friends and I truly do believe that this is where God has me at this point in my life. However, I hesitate when I see students that become so wrapped up in being in the Christian community that they cannot see beyond the campus lines. There is so much out there! God has given it to us, so why not explore it?
Christ called us to be in the world but not of the world. But what happens when you separate yourself so much that you cannot even be in the world? You lose the ability to minister to people. It breaks my heart to see those that are not even willing to venture out and get to know what surrounds them.
Many people, including myself to some extent, have been so sheltered their whole lives. Their parents have never allowed them to be exposed to anything that could “harm” them. I think parents sometimes forget that their children will soon graduate and be on their own.
If they are never exposed to the challenges of life, they will be like a lost puppy in the woods. No knowledge of how to take care of themselves. They will just want to go home.
I am not saying that this is all bad. Our parents are here to take care of and protect us, to the best of their ability, but I challenge you to break that box of security. Live outside of what you know. Learn about the lives and interests of others.
Open your mind and embrace the opportunities that God gives you. They are not always going to be handed to you; sometimes you have to search for them. Share your life and let people share theirs. I am not only asking this of you, but also myself. Let us challenge each other. You must reach out in order to bring people in.