My last final at OU was almost two weeks ago, and now I’m home enjoying time with people that I didn’t get to see with everyday frequency during the school year, such as family members, Abegale, and Dane. I’m currently sitting in a Starbucks with Abegale and Dane as they work for Dane’s family’s company, Archadeck. I figured I’d join to blog and maybe open up Grudem’s Systematic Theology.
It is quite easy to remember back to sophomore year of high school, whether it be my AP Spanish course or sitting in a Houston hotel room with Austin as we watched a cable news analysis of a Republican Party primary debate after a couple baseball games. And now my first year of college is over, gone in a flash. With graduate school certainly in view, that’s probably a good thing — I have lots of schooling to finish.
I learned a lot about the human experience and our need for connection these past ten months. While the fall semester was fairly enjoyable, perhaps because it was just a new stage in life, I started the spring semester off with some struggles: my motivation for academics was lackluster, my community felt mediocre, and my connection to the university itself felt nonexistent. In other words, to expand on the final of the three points, I felt as though I could have been a student anywhere but that it just happened to be at Oklahoma.
Am I looking for something I shouldn’t be? If communion with God defines our ultimate relationship, should I really need community that replicates my high school experience? My unbiblical thoughts were frequent. Yes, one’s relationship with the Creator is unrivaled, but from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, we are consistently pointed to God’s intention for human flourishing to occur within community. We need people. Not just dogs or cats or other parts of creation. Adam didn’t say “mine” until Eve appeared in front of him. The Lord moves forward the mission of the Kingdom through the people He calls to Himself. He speaks through people. The community between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit within the Trinity for all eternity is reflected in how God designed us to live: in relationships with people as we seek to worship Him.
The semester went on. My motivation spiked, largely due to academic inspiration from my Origins of Christianity (CL C 3053) professor, Dr. Harper. I went on a mission trip to St. Louis during spring break and got closer to many people from Paradigm (my church). In April I played intramural softball, which was quite fun. And today, I learned that I’ll be walking on this fall on the Oklahoma baseball team (which could be a blog post of its own, I guess). So, to say the least, the Lord was faithful and gracious.
This summer is packed. A minimum of four trips. Baseball. Family. Friends. The Porch. Books. I’m about to leave for California — my dad and I will fly into San Francisco and drive to Yosemite National Park. Our treasure is Half Dome, which we will summit via the “Snake Dike” climbing route. The day following my return from California, I fly to McAllen, TX, where my girlfriend and her family will pick me up, and I will join them on South Padre Island for a few days. After approximately a month, my dad and I will go to Michigan to see family, and my summer trips will wrap up with a second California trip, during which we plan to summit Mt. Whitney (the tallest peak in the lower 48 states) via the “East Face” climbing route. Lastly, Dane and I have been discussing a drive to New Mexico to summit Wheeler Peak, the tallest peak in its state. Around this travel, I’ll be playing in a collegiate baseball summer league with some former teammates of mine, training for the fall, reading, and spending time with friends and family. I have spent so much time with friends lately that I’m surprised I even made the time to write here. Before The Porch this week, my friend group went to Chick-Fil-A for dinner. But let’s hope that as time goes on, we’ll still be able to enjoy the great chicken wherever the company desires to have a location.
The city council of San Antonio had stopped Chick-Fil-A from residing within its airport, because they disapproved of Chick-Fil-A’s donations to “anti-LGBTQ” organizations. Republicans quickly responded with a bill informally referred to as the “Save Chick-Fil-A” bill, which would “prohibit cities from taking ‘adverse action’ against an individual based on contributions to religious organizations.” The bill ethically defends religious liberty and deserves support from Christians as we engage the culture with the gospel and seek to defend biblical morality. State rep Matt Schaefer (R) said, “Should any city council be able to refuse me as a vendor in their city simply because I make donations to my church, which holds a biblical view of marriage?” And more importantly for the sake of the bill, Governor Abbott tweeted support:
The Texas House has voted in favor of the bill along party lines (no surprise). Religious liberty is a central tenet of America’s ideology of freedom, and upholding it is essential to Christians’ ability to worship in the U.S., a privilege not enjoyed by our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. Furthermore, the San Antonio City Council’s move, if allowed, could lead to similar decisions in different cities, all of which do and would repress the voice and liberties of the Christian owners.
The Lord has provided endlessly in the first five months of this year. And I can’t wait for just under three more months of travel, baseball, friends, family, and Chick-Fil-A, all to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).