Have you seen faculty or staff from the College or Seminary holding a little compass? Or seen one on a desk or even attached to a watch – have you noticed? On August 19th, Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary met to kick off the new academic year. Anticipating the arrival of students, our purpose was to recognize those who have served at the College and Seminary, welcome new members to the community, and worship together. Even more important than ushering in the new academic year, though, we focused ourselves as a community on the year ahead. Our theme: Guided by HOPE.
We are a community that has been Guided by HOPE for almost 150 years!
While I was on vacation this summer I did a lot of walking and reflecting on where we are as a College and Seminary. I kept coming back to HOPE. Last year the emphasis was Letting Hope Shine – letting the hope of Christ shine in our community and beyond. The theme was motivating as we engaged in the community at new levels and took the story of Roberts and Northeastern around the country, sharing our story with alumni and friends. So why would we continue with a theme of HOPE for a second year?
It comes back to who we are, where we are and how we will move forward. As we view the future it is apparent there will be opportunities and challenges in the upcoming year. How will we face it? Through our dependence on Christ: The HOPE of Christ and confidence in His leading. All of our accomplishments and all of the goals we hope to achieve mean nothing if we aren’t anchored or guided correctly.
The idea of being guided suggests an image of a compass. A compass is an instrument designed for navigation. Usually it has a magnet needle that points towards the earth’s magnetic north. It is believed that the earliest compasses were most likely invented by the Chinese for varying purposes, but certainly used for navigation. At our Kick-Off, each faculty and staff member was given a compass as a reminder of who guides us and to put our hope in Him.
There many challenges around us. One of our goals will be to remain anchored in Christ – seeking and asking Him to show us His ways – to show us His path, and to be open to His leading. But that takes discipline and seeking after him.
This next year, with all that needs to be accomplished and all that is ahead, our goal is to put our hope in Christ – the hope for the future of the College and Seminary – and allow ourselves to be guided by Him. To pursue Christ in our daily life – to rely on His strength throughout the year and to seek Him first for wisdom. May we be Guided by HOPE!
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.