Preparing for Finals is a Holy Endeavor
Other than my very first semester of college ministry in Auburn back in 2009, our church has opened its doors twice a year — December and May — for 5 days as students enter in to the last week of classes and prepare to the best of their ability for their final exams. For some, finals are a mere formality and a hiccup toward the bliss that will be nearly 4 weeks break from classes; yet for others, finals could make or break everything they have worked for up until that point — grad school, keeping the scholarship, getting in to a program, or even being able to continue pursuing a degree at all.
A simple move for the church during this hectic 144 hour week (with way less sleep than the average week) is to be a stress-free, available refuge for our students. We have roughly 150 students who consider Cornerstone to be their church home, and our worship space and other meeting areas are well suited to allow each of them, plus friends and classmates, to spread out and focus on the task at hand: finishing the semester well.
I vividly remember these days as a student — needing to get out of the house because of distractions by roommates and friends choosing not to study but play NCAA football instead and yet finding no space in local coffee shops, slammed from open to close with others as frantic as me to finish each semester.
The library was no good for me either. While I love the beauty of RBD Library on Auburn’s campus, the 19 year old version of me was more distracted by the number of people in the library (and probably the beauty of some of those people on more than one occasion if I am being honest) than I was drawn by its availability as a good venue of relaxation and focus.
Study Days at Cornerstone Church
All of my experiences as a former end-of-the-semester-coffee-and-redbull-slamming college student led me to ask the question: why aren’t students studying here, at the Church? If they are not here only for the practical reasons of less distractions and plenty of space to spread out, perhaps then for the unseen, and oft unheard prayers that our staff and the families of the church utter over them during their weekly comings and goings from our building.
When is the Church available for study?
This year, our worship space and other various rooms will be open starting on Sunday, 12/4 after worship is over at noon and will end at midnight. Monday, 12/5 through Thursday 12/8, the church will be open from 9:30am until midnight.
A Holy Endeavor
You see, preparing for finals, according to scripture, is as holy an endeavor as any student undertakes during these years in Auburn. Truly, every task of a student’s academic career is holy, just as every job thereafter will be holy (assuming you’re not a student and you’re reading this…your whole life is Holy, because He who has called you is Holy — 1 Peter 1:13–15).
Here’s another way to let the weight of the matter rest on your spirit:
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23–24
What a beautiful promise. You have been loved, have been/will be given the inheritance that Christ alone deserves — now it is yours. And here in this life you’ve been given a life to live. A life with passions, gifting, and callings all unique to the design God has woven together to make YOU. Fear, anxiety, stress, worry— they are all distractions, effective ones often, but distractions nonetheless from the enemy of your soul to keep you from realizing (perhaps remembering is more exact a word) that you were made by God, loved by Him, and that his Son died that you might not.
Don’t miss this moment.
For the sake of the world, for the good of the church, and for the Glory of God…I beg you…don’t miss this moment. Finish strong friends, this is your shot.