We all know about the popular college school rivals: Texas A&M vs. University of Texas, University of Alabama vs. Auburn University, and many more. At Pine Cove, we recruit staff from all over the nation, so we are bound to have these school rivals brought to camp. When it comes to university academics and sports, every college student has a prideful side. I can’t explain how many times I’ve heard “Roll Tide!” or “Aye Aye Aye, Whoop!” I must admit, I even love saying “Sic ’em Bears!” It’s fun and gives us a sense of unity with those from our own school. But, coming to camp, we needed to have unity as a whole, not just with those that attend the same school as us. We do not want our school pride to get in the way of our one common goal at Pine Cove: to share the Gospel. Why would we let something so silly and worldly get in the way of loving our campers as a whole, undivided staff?
Pride goes before destruction.
– Proverbs 16:18
Instead of letting pride become a barrier, we as a staff have come together, despite our rivals. During orientation, I constantly heard and participated in college cheers, chants, and boos. We all learned different chants from schools we did not attend. I must admit, I was reluctant, but eventually we all learned to be Aggies and Bears, Tigers and Longhorns.
This summer, we put aside our differences in order to be used by God to transform the lives of people for His purposes and His glory! We are all here as a unified ministry. We do not define ourselves by where we live, where we go to college, and what cheers we say when our team scores a touchdown. We are defined by Christ. Our unity with other believers is a testament to the truth of Jesus’ life and His love for us.
I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
– John 17:23
Now, as I talk to my Big 12 school rivals, such as someone who attends Oklahoma State University, I do not see them as a rival. I see them as a brother or sister in Christ. That is far more valuable than any football score, playoff game, or student section. As a staff, we are all a student section who cheer for our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
– Ephesians 4:31-32
As soon as I understood the purpose of letting go of school pride, I became so much closer with people who live across the nation, go to a different school, and are in a different school conference. I’m not sure this would have happened if my pride wasn’t broken down. This summer, we as a Timbers staff are wholeheartedly seeking one common goal and are thankful for the unity we have in Jesus.
Until next time,
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