Freshman First 40 — Day 1

DAY 1
SATURDAY, AUGUST 20, 2011

Rom 12:9-16

As you enter into this new season of your life, the word “community” will
be thrown around quite a bit. You may find yourself a bit overwhelmed at
the mere number of opportunities to connect with other students and with
organizations here at Belmont. In many ways, we have an innate inclination
to find others who are like us- those with whom we have common interests
and those who can easily relate to us. We have all had these ‘Me too!’
moments….’You like to play the guitar? Me too!’….’You want to pledge a
sorority? Me too!’…’You like reading historical fiction? Me too!’. We long
for these moments because they remind us that we are not alone. These
moments of connection allow us to belong.

The challenge as a new student is not to find a community because there
are an endless number of them to be found, but instead to sort through and
discern which community is the right one for you. At first glance we might
look for communities that have the most opportunities for us- those that
will look good on our résumé or that connect us with “the right people.”
We might be tempted to look for communities that are filled with people
who think exactly like we do about everything. However, true community
– the kind that Jesus addresses – is less about what is afforded to us and
more about what community affords in us. True community is messy and
unpredictable and can sometimes be found in the most unlikely of places.
A true community is one that allows us to be most ourselves. It fosters our
deepest hopes and dreams, and it challenges us to be more of the one God
has designed us to be. Richard Rohr calls this community a place “where we
met both our truest self and our truest God.”

So as you are considering new opportunities for community, perhaps the
best way to discern which ones are right for you would be to stop and ask
yourself:  Where do I feel most like myself? Where am I challenged to be
more like the person God has designed me to be? Where can I grow and
find a greater understanding of both who I am and who God is?

Blessings to you as you become part of the Belmont community this year!

CHRISTY RIDINGS
Office of University Ministries

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