As my alarm went off to signal the start of what would be my first day back in the Baptist Student Ministry office at Howard Payne University, I kept saying to myself, “Do I have to get up and go to work?”
I suspect almost everyone who enjoyed a Christmas break could resonate with the sentiment. I spent a month traveling, hanging out and—most important—sleeping. I knew the moment I stepped into the office, the BSM director and I would begin planning the semester and upcoming events.
The first task on the list was to plan our leadership team winter mini-retreat, where we would help our student leaders plan for the semester. Before we could begin to plan the retreat, we needed a calendar list of all the upcoming events. It was a daunting task making this list, and it made the semester seem so long. At this point we both were groaning in frustration. There was so much to do, Christmas break was over, and we realized things were fixing to get really busy. Nonetheless, we made the calendar, printed handouts and ordered food.
It was time for the retreat. As our students arrived, they were excited to see everyone and shared stories from their break. Once we started discussing the schedule, our students eagerly started planning the events. They even had new ideas—things they wanted to see happen and new events they wanted to plan. They had really great ideas, and we even planned a new event for the first week of school.
It was an encouragement to see their enthusiasm. It made me excited to start the new semester. They reminded me it’s not about the many plans and events; it’s about the students. I know we all have moments of stress with time crunches, events and things we have to do. But the beauty of this all is that it’s not things we have to do, but the things we get to do to help students and make Christ known on our campus. We all have times where we have to get up, when the weekend is finally over, but I was reminded this we should be excited to see what God will do through all the plans and schedules.
Kim Lilley Garner is serving with Go Now Missions as a campus ministry intern at Howard Payne University.