Stop for a minute and think about what you are thankful for about your Judson experience? For me, it’s the caring professors, being a part of the baseball team, friends and roommates, and the Christ-centered atmosphere. I’m also thankful for the pranks (how did my friends get me to open up the campus on security at 3am instead of 6am), all-night worship times, traveling to Houghton, NY for a #1 versus #2 soccer game and so much more. What’s on your list?
Let’s go a step further – what are you thankful as a result of your time at Judson? Again for me it’s my wife and family, it’s my calling to ministry, its life-long friends and an ever-growing love for Christ that was fanned into flame at Judson. I’m also thankful for the education I received, the training in leadership and the network of relationships as a result of Judson U. I hope and pray that some of your on-going thankful reasons are similar to mine. It’s not that all the memories of Judson are good or that everything was perfect, however, those are the memories that I choose to remember and cherish.
Ok, I want to go one final step further. What are you thankful for about God? You may be at a place in your life where you are thankful for everything about God and attribute all of your blessings to Him. If that’s you, don’t stop. Continue to recognize that “every good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17). You may, however, find yourself in life circumstances that are difficult and tough. Life has given you lemons and you see God as the one that grew the lemon tree. Your hurt may be deep and your pain great. I understand, but, more importantly, so does God. Psalm 116:1-2 states this, “I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.” He’s not a God that was just there for your college days, He’s still there today. Choose to allow God to help you turn lemons into lemonade. Choose to use your pain for good. In this season of Thanksgiving, choose to remember with thankfulness, look for reasons to be thankful and to look ahead with a thankful, grateful heart.
-Eric Rojas, Class of 1990, Executive Pastor at Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL