05 November 2011

What we need to hear

Be it the family tradition, the cessation of labor, or the sounds and smells of sacredness, they who keepeth the Sabbath know it approacheth when it approacheth. For me there has almost always been something special that comforted me that Sabbath was near. As a child, that was my mother making the Sabbath dinner; in middle school, it was no homework; in academy it was vespers with peers.

Today I tried to find something, some spiritual atmosphere to remind me I could rest, because with the end of the semester approaching, I sure can't feel rest. I did community service in some project neighborhoods, and that didn't turn out well. I went to one vespers program and I wasn't feeling the spirit, so I checked out another program and that one wasn't exactly for my age group. At last I went to the vespers that the African-American brethren organize, and I found the blessing for which I was wrestling with God.

When my mother and father came with me to Andrews at the beginning of the school year, they had shared stories with me of their experiences in the east coast back in New York. The east coast is a beautiful place for Adventism, at least in some aspects. There is a rich cultural diversity here, and there is a deep loyalty for the faith since it was here in the east Adventism began. In our church in New York, my mother told me people addressed each other as Brother This, or Sister That. My father told me about the diverse styles of worship and preaching. When I told them the diversity I was seeing, I think they were glad that I could see what they used to see.

So at the final vespers I visited tonight, the preacher said his brother was shot last week, but he praised the Lord for it. Sometimes the Lord has to bring us to a point of hardship so we can see the light. I remembered when that happened to me. The preacher went on about Job, and blessing the Lord O my soul in the midst of suffering. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

Tonight I found what I was looking for, or rather God assured me I was never lost. I've been needing to hear something assuring for a while, in the midst of my essays and exams.

This is what I love about being a student of Adventist Education. Faith is (or should be) closely intertwined with scholastics. More than prayer before class, more than the teaching of religion and science, but also rather the hope that the knowledge we learn will endeavor us to do everything in hope of a better day.
I remember being outside one Friday evening at the end of a long week with some peers, rowdily (but meaningfully) singing spirituals - much like some mates at the pub. One song we sang went like this:
No more tuition there -
 We are going to see the King.
No more tuition there -
 We are going to see the King.
No more tuition there -
 We are going to see the King.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah -
We're going to see the King.
Berrien Springs, Michigan

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