This is my probably my twentieth trip with Campus Ministries. I’m currently sitting in a dimly lit cafeteria somewhere in some camp up in Northern Minnesota listening to smooth jazz, sipping ice tea and enjoying the silence and tranquility that comes together with late nights around the lake. The campers are probably in bed by now. The cafeteria workers have probably all gone home. The birds outside have stopped singing. It’s just me and the stillness, briefly interrupted by the sound of my fingers hitting the keyboard of my laptop.
My journey with the worship arts has taken me to a number of places I would never had thought I would be in college. We’ve slept in hotels, creepy houses in the woods, church floors, nursing stations, log cabins. We’ve gotten stuck in storm shelters while trees were crashing everywhere around us. We’ve had to push our van and trailer out of the mud. We’ve hiked through the woods with our instruments strapped to our backs. We’ve directed traffic in downtown Minneapolis. We’ve made late night meals in the fire place. We ate spaghetti without utensils. We got our nails done. We’ve had to go to the hospital. We explored. We learned. We grew.
Coming to Dordt has definitely helped me grow in a number of different ways, as I’ve been offered a wide range of opportunities that I could grow into. I came to Dordt as a loud, energetic, gullible and hopeful young boy who just wanted to do everything. I signed for almost every club, I bought every book I thought I would need for classes, attended every event I could and tried to talk to everyone. I’m definitely not the same person as I was two years ago, but I stuck around for a few of the things I signed up for.
I signed up for the worship team on my second day here, and it’s definitely been the thing I’ve invested the most in during the last two years. This past summer, I had the privilege of being hired by Dordt as a full time worship leader, and play together with six other amazing musicians while travelling around the country. We led worship at middle and high school camps throughout the week, and played at churches in the weekends.
College has taught me much more than I could have asked for and I will be leaving this place with more than just a liberal arts degree. I’ve come to know Dordt as a place that I had to invest in, but also a place that has invested in me. Sure, school is okay, but my college experience has been defined and shaped by all that is peripheral to what college is supposed to be. And worship arts is just one of the many things I’ve been a part of in my time here. I’ve learned life lessons and values that go much beyond anything I could gather from the classroom, and those are things I will take with me wherever I go.
So I guess I’m not saying anything specific, but if there was to be some form of a take away of some sort from my text, it’s simply that life happens outside of the classroom, and it’s beautiful. You will learn to be taken outside of your comfort zone, to cross boundaries and to grow in ways you never imagined you would. You’re not only going to walk away from college with a degree, but with lessons and values that will shape and define you as an individual. So wherever you go, remember to explore, learn and grow.