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14,420 students

August 11, 2009

today i’m thinking a lot about what it looks like for me to be very intentional with my time. there are certain things i know are priorities to be set aside every week…meeting students on campus, spending time with and investing in terry, team meetings, our friday night events at the student center…those things are commitments that make up a good chunk of my week. aside from those, i find there is still much time left over. and it’s tempting to give myself too much free time. to be at home. to skype. to read…a lot. to watch a movie. to wake up and have the most leisurely morning and not be on campus until 12. but where is the purpose in that? not that my life here should be about obnoxiously cataloguing my time in some legalistic or extreme way, we all need some down time, but i think it makes sense for me to evaluate why i do what i do and to what purpose.

i had lunch with laura today and she told me some stories about ministry when she and andy lived in seattle and worked at the university of washington. she made it a goal to spend as much time on campus as possible…even if she was only sitting on the grass, praying and people watching and even when she really didn’t feel like doing it. UB is a big school, more than 14,000 students, and the idea of being present on campus and not being a student myself and with no obvious need to be there can be a bit…hmm, awkward? but i’m seeing that these unplanned moments spent on campus are crucial. last week i was meeting a student for lunch and she ended up being super late because she was waiting in line to find out about accommodation. while i was waiting i noticed a girl who was standing by herself and introduced myself to goleba, who was in between classes, and waiting for a friend. we ended up having a great conversation about her first year at university and her thoughts on returning. she says this year she wants to grow in her understanding of God. we talked about that for a while and eventually exchanged numbers, her telling me of an interest she has to study the Word of God and that she never really has before.

i want it to become routine in my week to make time for open plans. and sometimes i can build up this kind of pressure to have a meaningful encounter every time i step foot on campus, but let’s face it, i will face dozens of awkward ones lacking in depth or none at all along the way to meeting a student who is genuinely receptive. it’s not supposed to be forced, so don’t force it. but purposefully making myself available for those kinds of encounters is well worth the time. i’ll let you know how it goes…


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Meg permalink
    August 11, 2009 5:34 pm

    What a cool testimony of God’s work and faithfulness through your willingness. How many times does God just call us to “show up”? To go and then trust. And I even think that God can use us in our un-intentional-ness. I’m grateful for that. Keely, thanks fo yo encouraging words. They spur me on!

  2. ben permalink
    August 12, 2009 7:34 am

    Read an article about a group called “Pholo Modi Wa Sechaba” today (apparently the name is in Setswana) and thought about you way down south. You always have the most interesting blog posts, and it strikes me that your thoughts above related to time are similar to Daniel H’s about the use of money a few days ago.

    It’s hard to not draw a legalistic line, but at the same time to find an appropriate balance to honor Him in all we do. A trainer’s philosophy I met is that he doesn’t care what his people do as long as #1 and #2 are “Spend time with God and spend time hanging around lost people.” Keep up the good work and good thoughts!

  3. Cara Maddox permalink
    August 12, 2009 12:50 pm

    I’m glad we got to talk the other night! Good post!

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