Ex 32:7-11, 13-14
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by Corday Goddard, Director of Residential Life
At this time of year, every year, I can’t help but spend quite a bit of time thinking about roommates. It’s just the nature of the work we do in Residential Life, but we invest a great deal of time every year trying to find roommate pairs that work, trying to speak proactively with students and their parents about how to be good roommates, and, often, trying to help roommates learn how to communicate with one another in a civilized, respectful, yet still assertive manner. Truth be told, we have varying levels of success with all of these endeavors.
Inevitably, I can’t help but end up reflecting on my own freshman year, when I was “THAT ROOMMATE.” You know, the one who never left the room, who wanted to spend every minute of every day with my roommate – a friend from grade school – and who regularly tried to mask what I today understand to be insecurity and anxiety with what was then a great deal of bluster and bravado. Yeah, I was that guy.
But the funny thing is, if you asked me during that time to tell you what I was all about, to describe my character, to identify my values, I would have done so without missing a beat:
My values? Why, I’m trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. Evildoers, beware!
Yes, my roommate and I were both Eagle Scouts, and both could have recited the Scout Law with ease. And in reality, at my best, I want to believe I was, in fact, all (or at least most) of those things. The challenging part, of course, was that I was so rarely at my best that year.
So as I read the passage from 1 Timothy this morning, I am comforted. My contemporary perspective on the passage is that God knows that sometimes we are vibrant and wonderful and awesome – us at our best – and sometimes we’re very much none of those things – us at our very worst. And even though God knows all that and more about each of us . . . it’s still okay. We’re still loved, completely and unapologetically and profoundly.
Today will be full of moments where we’re each at our best – I believe our community calls that out of each of us – and occasional moments where that’s not the case. And so will tomorrow, and the day after that.
And it will be okay . . . because of Christ’s “perfect patience” with each one of us.