Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Big School Experience

This afternoon, on the way to my only class of the day, I had to walk across campus.  It's about a twenty minute walk from my bus stop to my class.  During that time, I wandered between tall buildings and large crowds of students.  In a crowd, I don't stand out. 

As I watched the students walk by, I couldn't help but feel a little lost.  I was one out of fifty thousand students on campus.  I was about to attend a class with nearly four hundred other freshmen and sophomores.

I felt so small. 

I was lost in thought about all of these things when a voice caused me to stop in my tracks.


Out of everyone milling around me, somebody actually knew my name.  I whirled around to see who it could possibly be and I was hugged.  Hugged.  "Emily, I can't believe I just found you!"

One of my best friends, Rebecca, was standing in front of me, embracing me with a huge smile on her face.  Although we attend the same university, we never stumble across each other.  There are tens of thousands of people on campus at the same time and we don't have any classes together.  In fact, we've never seen each other on campus until today.

But there we were.

It was such a relief to see and hug my friend, even though we spoke for less than five minutes.  We both had class to attend.  It's funny... in that moment, I think we both felt the comfort of knowing that out of all of the students scurrying about us like a flock of birds, we had found each other.  We were familiar to someone.  We were recognized.

Even if I was the smallest, least important person in that entire crowd, I was significant to someone out there.  Although my smile had faded as I wandered through the college students, after I met with my friend, I found myself grinning again.  Knowing I was loved and known brought joy into my day and into my heart.

As I sat in class this afternoon, I couldn't help but be reminded of how the Lord feels about me.  He created an earth with billions of people.  If I feel insignificant surrounded by a few hundred, I can't imagine what I would feel like if I was sitting next to the seven billion others all around me.

Why was I created?  Why do I matter?

I keep notes from Breakaway each week on an iPhone app.  Looking back over this last Tuesday's notes, here is a little something I put down: Jesus changed the perspective of God from a disinterested deity to a Father.  

God is my Father.  He loves me because I am His child.  It doesn't matter how small I am or how many people don't know or care about my existence.  God does.  I was created for the Lord.  I am beloved by the Creator of all things.  And you know, that makes me feel pretty significant.  I am loved. 

You are too.

Psalm 17:8 
Keep me as the apple of your eye; 
hide me in the shadow of your wings

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