Cairn Alum & Former Scroll Editor of 1970 Offers Advice
At Homecoming last month I’d had a chat with one of The Scroll’s reporters, Rachel Krodel, and later received an invitation from editor Jess Schnittjer to consider contributing something to The Scroll – over four decades after my last Scroll assignment. Frankly, I’m unsure that many would be interested, but I truly appreciate Jess’s invitation.
A long-ago student visiting the Langhorne campus rejoices in the fact that Cairn remains true to Scripture, and also in the lovely campus, although my own biggest cultural adjustment involves the fact that ‘Mason’ is a building and not a person.
Off campus, I rejoice that after four decades a number of ‘60s and ‘70s people are in touch with each other; (re-)connecting is wonderful. Some of our classmates frankly fell away, some’s sin hurt others (sin does that, of course) but many, many have lived in Christ’s forgiveness and been faithful both in vocational ministry and in different and surprising areas of life and work. God has been pleased to use many of our PCB/Cairn generation.
How do I know that? Through the terrific news that we still care about each other, still can be a (virtual) community, and with our rudimentary boomer social media skills have found each other. We’ve found each other the same as we were in college – wretched sinners, gloriously saved, a lot farther down the road but still quirky after all these years. In short, the fellowship endures.
I’ve been privileged to have a very minor part in Cairn alumni affairs and have thought a lot about what “Cairn community” means. I haven’t defined that yet, but feel strongly that Cairn is a family. And your aging aunts and uncles wish you godspeed. You may have some unusual relatives in the attic, but we’re truly family for each other.
The great human tasks – to know Christ, and to make Him known – still apply, and still are conditioned on the fact that the Holy Spirit actually causes the ‘success’ we experience in His endeavors.
By God’s grace, Boomers, Gen Xers, Gen Ys, Millennials, and yes, your own future children, carry the flag. May we all remain faithful.
Here’s advice from an aging guy: Learn all you can, figure a strategy for lifelong Scripture learning, and enjoy the fellowship, the bull sessions, the practice fields, and all the other experiences that God is using right now to mold you into the image of Christ.
If you want a list of things to take with you, here’s mine:
- God is God. Most of us need to keep re-learning that, so keep re-learning it.
- No matter what happens, remember that the Creator, Ruler and Judge of the universe wins in the end. Cling to that fact through everything.
- God loves you. No matter what.
- Look around you: On campus you’re surrounded by a tiny part of The Church Universal. Those little pieces of The Church – your dorm, your study groups, ensemble partners, teammates – may endure for decades, possibly even for eternity.
- But finals week won’t.
- Actually, exams keep happening through life in a thousand little ways; faithfulness is a long-term subject to study and live out, and thousands of pop quizzes appear all over the place.
In the great Gospel tasks, don’t wait for your turn; it’s your turn now. We join together across years and geography and move to the commands of the same great and eternal Leader.
By His grace still in His earthly service,
Steve Bachman (1967-71; Scroll Editor, spring 1970)