Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tuesday's Chapel - Ken Smith and others

I am glad I attended Tuesday (22 Jan 2007) chapel session. There were several guests who stood up to give thanks, and we were given more insight in the past, to be careful about our present, and to be hopeful towards the future. It was not planned out that way. It is simply my perception.

First we had Ken Smith, a long time Regent donor and supporter who brought us through a riveting history of Regent College, reminding all of us that Regent was built on brokenness, poverty and humbleness. Regent College then began with more professors than students enrolled and there was some level of anxiety where the students are going to come from. With prayer and faith, they persevered. The first year of Regent College was also tragic. There were only about 5 students enrolled and two of them died in a weekend car accident, including a staff member. Soon, there were also the problem of space. In the early years, students were forced to cram not only their minds but space, as there is no proper building for Regent, simply a small basement rented from VST (Vancouver School of Theology). That year, a developer was forced to sell the piece of land (the present location), due to some unusual government legislation, and offered for sale to Regent. Another problem: Not enough money. Through prayer and faith, Regent was able to buy it. Ken then lists several other faith related events which really helped me to appreciate the history of Regent even more. This insight into the past is invaluable as it helped keep me humble.

Secondly, we have a time of giving thanks, something I thought was especially meaningful in our expression of humility. Each of us took a Thank You card, to write personal notes about ourselves to share with each and every donor to Regent College. I thought that was an excellent way, the Regent way. Sometimes I think as students, we are pampered more than we are ever aware of. The current school fees we are paying are already at a subsidized rate, and the least that we can do is to be thankful.

Thirdly, in looking towards the future, Dr David Ley reminded the student body to be wary of 'structures' as they have the uncanny ability to suppress and 'repress' student vigor and vitality. He said that Regent students in the early years have that energy and vitality to study and be faithful in their spiritual walk in spite of the lack of space, building and facilities. In order to avoid becoming complacent, he prayed that we do not become arrogant about the new facilities that will be ready for present and future students, but to let God continue to energize and revitalize the student cohort. It will be a shame if the level of spiritual energy and enthusiasm of students becomes inversely proportional to the advanced and better infrastructures.

That is indeed a good reminder. My prayer is that while the new facilities and building structures are new and nice on the outside, may the students live humbly, caring for neighbour and all the little things that matter to God. For if we are able to care for the little things that matter to him, God will surely take care of the little things that matter to us. This is not a reciprocal contract. It is faith.


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