So, after clocking less than two hours of sleep over the past 42 hours and an average of 4-5 hours per night for the week prior, I find myself compiling this post in the lobby of a hotel in the heart of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, instead of doing what my body says it needs to do – assume the recumbent comatose position in the luscious queen-sized bed (complete with SIX pillows of my VERY OWN) in my hotel room.
This evening marked the beginning of the 2010 Christian Veterinary Fellowship Regional Real Life Real Impact Conference in Baton Rouge, LA. One speaker and several fellow college CVF testimonials later, and I’m already feeling convicted about the lack of missions focus in my vet school. Something needs to change in our CVF. And I’m not blaming the previous leadership at all. I totally understand the way life can become complicated and busy and filled up with all things career-driven and few things purpose-driven. Especially this semester, with an average of 1.6 tests per week, it becomes especially difficult to not fall into the one-track mind of “the grade, my grade, and nothing but the grade, so help me caffeine”. But as I listened to the representatives from other CVF chapters from around the mid-South, how they have teams who go on short term mission trips every year, how they fundraise, and especially how they get involved in the lives of their fellow students, ministering to them through service, prayer and support, I realized that excuses don’t hold water anymore.
Many of us at one point or another have said to ourselves “I don’t have time to serve” or “I’ll become a better student of the Bible when I’m not a student of the university” or “I’ll start praying more when I have more time”. Unfortunately, what we fail to realize is that if it’s not schoolwork, it’s a 9-5 (or more) job. If it’s not the job, it’s the spouse. If not the spouse, it’s the children. If not children, it’s housework and bills. If not that, it’s keeping in contact with your friends, fostering those relationships that are so important. But even more important is that we have a right relationship with God. All the things we do here on earth, whether in the spirit of love or spite, are helping to fashion us and those around us into what we will be for eternity. As C.S. Lewis so pungently states in his book The Weight of Glory:
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit–immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.”
Eternity. That’s the mindset we should all have as we contemplate our schedules and our list of ‘to-do’s’ for the day. And despite what our professors may ruthlessly try to pound into our heads, their class is not the most important thing in the world.