Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Cincinnati Christian University: Plan B

At the end of this semester, Cincinnati Christian University (CCU) will close its doors. Many people who know I had the privilege of serving at CCU for nearly fifteen years have asked me how I feel about the closing. Most want me to speculate on what went wrong. They don’t understand how an institution of higher education can suddenly stop being an institution of higher education in the middle of a school year. I don’t fully understand myself so I won’t begin to offer a hypothesis here.

What I do know, is that for nearly 100 years, CCU did its job and did it well. There are countless lives changed in this world because of the instruction and charge given to graduates of CCU. 

And there will be countless more. 

Lives all over the world will continue to be changed in powerful and positive ways by CCU graduates and those who dedicated their time and talent to the school. 

This post is to the students who are in the throes of mourning the closing of CCU. To them I offer this advice: Embrace this change. 

Yes, those who already have their degree in hand left the school as “highly qualified” individuals ready to serve. 

You who will continue your studies elsewhere will leave CCU “uniquely qualified” to serve the “Plan B” world in which we live. 

Rarely do I find someone who is doing exactly what they planned to do in his or her youth. Most people are following their “Plan B”  (or C or D) dreams or avenues of life. You are getting a crash course in redirecting your life.

Sometimes people chart a new course in life because they choose to follow a dream. I have a friend who was a high school teacher for many years but followed his dream to study law and is now a judge.

It happens. 

But most often, people change direction due to circumstances beyond their control.

Your company downsizes.
You lose your job or life as you know it because of money issues. 
Your house is destroyed by a tornado.
A great need arises. 
Your spouse dies suddenly.

Your school closes.

There are of course numerous biblical examples as well. 

Joseph was thrown into a well by his brothers then sold into slavery by them. I’m sure living in Egypt wasn’t his part of his Plan A.  Yet he was able to rise to power in a foreign country. How did he do it? By listening to God and looking for ways to serve Him.

David had probably imagined his future in the fields of his dad’s farm. He trained as a shepherd. Becoming the King of Israel was not likely on his career evaluation form. Yet he took what he learned caring for sheep and cared for an entire nation. Plan B…or C. How did he do it? By listening to God and finding ways to serve Him.

And in this Christmas season, another Joseph comes to mind. This one was betrothed to a young woman named Mary. They are not yet married and she turns up pregnant. Certainly this was not Joseph’s Plan A. But he has a dream and learns this is what God has in store for him. He marries the woman, raises the child as his own, and teaches the boy what he knows- carpentry. He listened to God and looked for ways to serve Him. 

That is my prayer for you. That you will take what you have learned from the professors at CCU and from this experience with you wherever you go. I pray you will listen to God and look for ways to serve Him. 

You are uniquely qualified.

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