The study rooms were full on Friday. Everyone was at the their desk, clicking and typing away. Every so often the air was punctuated with a heavy sigh.
That was the first Research Week that I was in the studies (last term’s Research Week I was sick and didn’t want to share my cold with everyone).
I think I liked writing my essay there. There’s a sense of camaraderie in the studies. Everyone is working hard, and those who are struggling are happy to say so. People would ask each other questions, talk through thoughts they were having and borrow books from each other. We’re all in this together in some sense. I also found comfort from the people who were still there, late into the night.
But there was something else that struck me even more. I was struck by the fact that there were people praying for me as I wrote the essay. Not just the unknown-to-me-people who regularly pray for students at our college, or the friends I had asked to pray for me, but even some of my fellow students, also working hard to get the essay done. Not just praying that I would get it finished on time, but that I would learn and grow from doing it.
In the spirit of the passage I looked at for my essay (Deut 4:32-40): Search in days gone by and over the world, in what other field of study have you ever hear of this happening?
This is such a great comfort to me. The people who I study with aren’t students who I compete with for marks or try to beat in the bell curve. Or even people I am ambivalent towards as I focus on my own learning. They are friends, family in Christ, who care about each other, help each other out with resources, and even pray for each other.
But this is not just a comfort to me. It is also a rebuke. I was so focused on my own essay; getting it right and getting it done, that I didn’t really think about asking God to help anyone else with theirs. How selfish of me.
I am thankful for not just the things I learn at college, but also the way that my attitudes and motivations are being reshaped. Please pray that God would continue to change my heart to be more like Jesus, as I will be praying for my fellow students.