university should be a scary place
I took in an interview of Andy Crouch today, one of my go-to guys for making and making sense of culture. Towards the end of the interview he made an offhand comment about university, which I have taken the time and trouble to type out. You’re welcome.
College is first of all a time of tremendous privilege. Even now most people in the United States and around the world don’t get to experience something like Gordon [college] for four years. You can do one of two things with privilege. You can use it to try to make yourself more comfortable and secure and enjoy your secluded suburban campus and the meals just appear three times a day and you can just sort of marinate in comfort… The alternative is to say that I’ve been give four years here where there’s a tremendous safety net around me. I’ve got mentors and professors who will help me pick myself up if I fail. I’ve got tons of friends around me (you have more access to friends in the four years of college than you’ll ever have in the rest of your life, when it’s much harder to have community like this). My parents will still let me back into their home, even if I flunk a class. So you’ve got so many bungee cords strapped to you that if you don’t jump off some bridges now, you never will. By that, I don’t mean literally jump off a bridge (with a bungee cord attached, of course), but I mean expose yourself to difficult art, to really challenging ideas; expose yourself to very troubling places that are within a two hour drive of where you live; travel to somewhere that just takes you completely out of your own presuppositions and assumptions and sense of security, because you have a place to come back to that will help interpret all that, and also you don’t have to figure out how to pay the bills everyday the way that you will for the rest of your life. So college is the time to really hunt for risk, and take it: artistic risk, intellectual risk. Andy Crouch | Talk of the Muse Interview 27:44
I read this and immediately thought, Aha, that’s it, that’s exactly what bsmucalgary wants to do, not just in art and intellect, but in culture. There is no better time to interact with difficult, really challenging, troubling, beautiful, intriguing, and presupposition-destroying people and sub-cultures than your university years. There is no better time to become missional, learning how to follow Jesus amongst them than when you have so much support. If you don’t do it now, you never will.
bsmucalgary | we push people off bridges while they still have bungee cords attached.