A New Year, A New Chapter

We’re back… from Summer camps, classes, beach weeks, road trips, work, sleeping in, staying up late with old friends, and everything else we try to squeeze into those few months between the joyfully mournful Finals Week and the mournfully joyful Welcome Week. I pray you were able to find rest and be present with those around you this past Summer.

This year, we’re focusing on Covenant with God.  We’re starting allllll the way back with Abraham and moving through Jacob, Moses, David, Isaiah, up to Jesus as a “new” Covenant. It’s a very exciting time to be a part of BCM@JMU.  We have an amazingly gifted and reverent Leadership Team.  We’re bringing on an Associate Campus Minister who’s been a long-time friend of the ministry.  We have a growing campus and thousands upon thousands of students who need a fresh, experiential relationship with Christ.  It makes me giddy to just think about how BCM@JMU will continue to be the hands and feet of Christ here!

Proverbs 17:22 says “A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones” (NRSV).  There is so much to be joyful about for this year, which makes it easy to have a “cheerful heart.”  However, there is also a lot of pain in the world (and in our own hearts), anxiety in our minds, and spiritual need on our campus that can bring us to our knees.  In those times, we are often told to find the silver lining and simply fake it ’til we make it seem likely we’re happy.  We’ve decided, or been taught to, pray for the incoming storms on the horizon to pass by.  This sort of mentality was always the one my dad tried to empower me to embrace the gritty pain in training for athletics by telling me to never be a “fair-weather athlete.”

Vivian Greene has a famous motivational quote saying “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.” I don’t believe this proverb asks us to go through the motions until we get to a happy place.  I don’t believe it is as simple as being “cheerful” instead of “downcast.”  I think it emboldens us to live like we believe, rain or shine, God is in constant relationship with us.   We have the choice to pray for the storm to have never come or we can join God and “dance in the rain.”