This past weekend, my wife and I made the journey to Wilmore, Kentucky, home of our alma mater, Asbury University (formerly Asbury College). It was my 35th college reunion and the celebration of 125 years of this fine institution.
We met there. Our son attended there.
My heart is still strangely warmed.
Look up the reference. It will do you good.
Much has changed since I walked across the platform of Hughes Auditorium to receive my diploma. I have changed as well.
But what remains the same is the heart of Asbury University. A commitment to an education that fully encompasses faith and learning. Asbury has long excelled in both.
Sure, I may sound like I’m bragging. But, I have reason to. I am very proud to be an alumnus.
It’s hard to explain the experience if you haven’t lived in Wilmore, Kentucky. Or if you haven’t worshiped in Hughes Auditorium. But there’s a bond that exists whenever you meet a fellow Asburian any where in the world. You have a shared history, a shared faith, a shared heritage.
For me, weekends like this are a time for reconnecting. Of remembering who I am. Of remembering why I believe what I believe.
Your mileage may vary, and that’s okay.
I was able to spend time with good friends from the ministry team I traveled with. Sadly, our whole team couldn’t be there, but those of us there were able to sing in the Friday service. I was able to reconnect with fellow classmates, some of whom I’ve actually come to know better thanks to Facebook. I was able to sing real music with the Men’s Glee Club and to experience the power and wonder of the sound of the great hymns of the church being sung by a thousand voices. That type of music just doesn’t happen in most churches these days and I miss it.
I will forever be who I am because of the four years I spent on the Asbury College campus, because of the time I spent on the Alumni Board, and because of the time I spent as a parent of a student there.
We all have places and people in our history that have had significant impacts on our life. I am grateful for my time on the Asbury Campus.
John Wesley Hughes, the founder of Asbury College wrote, ” I believed then, as I do now, that a well-rounded education involved a genuine Christian experience. To educate the body to the neglect of mind and the soul makes a man beastly. To educate the mind to the neglect of body and soul leads to dead intellectualism. To educate the soul to the neglect of mind and body results in fanaticism. Out of real Christian education come three great characteristics: self-reliance, aggressiveness, and the love of individual freedom toward self, man and God, which means a power to bring things to pass.”
These are challenging times for people of faith. Christ said that they would be. Asbury College/University has been equipping young men and women to meet those challenges for 125 years.
There were many re-commitments to facing those challenges over the weekend.
For me, I was reminded that I’m a story teller. I tell stories through writing and through theater. I learned a lot about story telling at Asbury.
Stories of faith. Stories like my unfinished novels. Stories about life.
I need to be working harder at telling some stories.
Once upon a time…