This is my tenth year as a professor. Over the years, I have learned a few things. (Yes, we are constantly doing that, just like students). One of the big things I have learned is that there is a cycle to the school year. There is excitement at the beginning of the year as new classes and relationships begin. There is equal or greater excitement at the end of the year as classes end. In between, there is a roller coaster of ups and downs, but it is a bit predictable.
Think about it. You live in a similar rhythm. You look forward to Christmas and Spring Break. In the summer you look forward to later nights and jobs. Every week you look forward to Friday and the change, even if it is not a break from busyness.
Right now, we are in one of the roughest times of the year. It is midterms. For freshmen, this is the first real test. Oh, they have probably had a few exams, but this is a new round of tests. The midterm exams will really test how they are doing in class. There will be papers and projects due. Students will experience real stress and so will their roommates. Of course that leads to more stress as relationships get strained. The weather turns gray and so do some moods as homesickness may set in.
Freshmen are not alone. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors fall prey to the grayness and busyness as well. By the way, we professors are right there too, and not just because some of us have hair that is graying. We are grading and guiding through it all. We get to wade through the grading of all those tests and projects. Red pens bleed, not with wrath, but with guidance, and we find a lot of guidance necessary. Upperclassmen will spend a lot of time walking through the stress with underclassmen, and profs. will be there through it all. We will talk with students over coffee. We will console those struggling with assignments and we will give guidance about relationships. At BBC, we will all encourage one another by reminding each other that there is something bigger than the now.
Philippians 3:13–14 (ESV)
“13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
We each came to BBC because of a calling. Maybe it was for ministry. Maybe it was to get a background in Bible, but we are here to “press on toward the goal,” of becoming all that Christ called us to be. With that we encourage each other. We press on through this season and on to the next, because the road is too exciting to let the stress of this season keep us down.
About Ben Williams:
Ben Williams is the Professor of Preaching and Old Testament at Boise Bible College. He holds a Doctor of Ministry from Lincoln Christian University, Church/Para-Church Leadership 2013; MA ind Religion, Biblical Studies, and Old Testament from Cincinnati Christian University; M.A. in Practical Ministries from Cincinnati Christian University; and a BA in Christian Ministries from Cincinnati Christian University. He spent eight years as Professor of Preaching and Old Testament at Central Christian College, five years preaching minister, and five years as Campus Minister at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.