Throughout my schooling, there would be periodical inspirational speakers that would come to school. They would pump up the music and give us actions to take to “make the world a better place”. Positive vibes would be in the air. Some students would cry. Everybody would say they would change and we would all be friends.
Nothing changed. The friend groups went back to normal and school life chugged away.
Which brings me to my freshman year of college. I finished a long cross country practice and descended down into the lowly school dining center. I trudged through the line to get my typical meal of two chicken sandwiches, fries, and chocolate milk. As I looked around, I spotted a student who I had a music gen-ed class with. I noticed he sat alone most days. In the back of my mind, I thought “Why not now?”. I sat at his table and began to strike up a conversation. Nothing extraordinary happened. I ate my food and took a shower and worked on homework not thinking twice.
A few weeks later, he invited me to his small group at church. I began going to that small group on a regular basis. I enjoyed meeting new people and engaging my faith over the next two years.
Towards the end of my sophomore year, the youth pastor told me about a mission trip to Haiti and told me to think about it. I did. I had never been on a mission trip before. I had no idea what to expect. Still, I decided to take a chance.
I ended up loving that mission trip to Haiti. The experience was so surreal for me.
I’m not saying everytime you choose to engage someone that something magical will happen. I’m done the same with other students and never see them again. For me, it’s better to take the chance and nothing happens than to not try and think “what if”?
So there. No music, no stage. Just a practical story of how befriending someone changed my life more than I could have ever imagined.