This is a story about students on a different path….. Please consider forwarding this blogsite to someone you know who might resonate with this.
A couple weeks ago, I visited a small college in Oklahoma. I’d been there before, a long time ago, and there have been many changes. Only two years after the college nearly went under, I was surprised at the positive resurgence I saw on many fronts.
In an age where binge-drinking is common (endemic?) on many campuses, student morals have taken a hit. In one huge university, taxis are provided free so that students who have binged in a bar along Pub Street can be carried home without driving and wrecking their own car. Students I talked with said it’s not uncommon for a woman to have sex when she is drunk (think “beer-goggles”), with someone she barely knows, and then to brush it off next morning with “Well, things happen”. Of course not all students fall in this category, as there are many who have a healthy respect for their own bodies, as well as others.
The college I visited was different. The first student I encountered was well-dressed and polite. She came up out of the blue and asked me if I was a professor. When I replied that I used to be, she asked if I could give an opinion on a resume she was writing. She seemed very grateful. After I had given a talk on the shale gas revolution to one of the engineering classes, a student asked me if I could help him in his search for a summer internship. I was told by a faculty member that he was highly intelligent, balanced, and mature.
I grabbed a hazelnut latte at the coffee shop, which was set in a study area. The server was friendly and courteous. With large posters on the walls, and a lower level of lounge chairs, the décor in the carpeted area seemed warm and congenial for the students poring over their laptops.
While touring the admin area, I discovered an abundance of friendly smiles extended to a visitor who the school managers had never met. After lunch with faculty, a common farewell was “Blessings” or “Bless you” said with sincerity. To be sure, it acknowledged a little more God-connection than “Have a nice day”.
In contrast to all this, a Ph. D. engineering friend once said to me that such an environment inhibits a student from finding himself. He seemed to think that a “real” student has to rebel before he can choose a moral path he will follow for his life. While there may be some truth in this for some people, I pointed out that some students have already decided on their moral path before they go to college, and are happy and secure in that. He backed off and reluctantly agreed. I added that some “real” students have deliberately chosen not to join the other extreme…..the wide stream of drifting moral indecision.
But there was more I wanted to do. I attended the chapel service, and was surprised to see the president smiling and greeting students as they set up the stage. When he took the mike and spoke, he was positive and affirming. The choir sang vigorously, and students clapped and raised their hands in worship. I looked around at students and faculty near me, and some were raising their hands. So I raised my hands, and it felt good. It felt like I was affirming the place of God in my heart and in my engineering work and in my life. I suspect this is what the chapel-filled student body was feeling also.
I’m talking about Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. It’s where students are a pleasure to teach, and where the faculty are genuinely concerned about student welfare….in college and in life! It’s where a narrow stream of students is flowing in a different direction, and looking to God as their source for morals, stability, and wisdom. Of course, there are many students in the big universities who follow this way also. But in an age of creeping secularism and moral relativism, this little college appears to be a stand-up model for a Christian university.
“The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]”. Proverbs 1 (Amplified Bible).
The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers….
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