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More than a Bubble Blower

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Living on Cairn’s campus is often referred to as, “living inside a bubble.” This metaphor is accurate, and I have used it for myself once or twice (okay, maybe a dozen). Is this metaphor altogether wrong, or even inappropriate? No. Does this metaphor speak volumes to living on Cairn’s campus? Only in a way.

 

It’s easy to parallel life on Cairn’s campus with life in a bubble—living in a see-through sphere, protected from the surrounding elements, oblivious to the news, events, and sights of your surrounding community and world.

 

It’s easy to live on campus without daily exposure to television, the news, or even the activities of the local community. It’s easier to reside within Cairn’s bubble, only attuned to campus events and life.

 

Furthermore, we blow our own individual bubbles inside of this larger bubble.

 

We become so absorbed in our own problems, issues, opinions, and ideas, and tend to walk with our eyes down, gaze glued to our phones. We spend our days completing our homework, eating our meals, going to our classes, and we float into each day, stuck to the discipline of our routine.

 

No wonder we feel isolated.

 

We blame the “Cairn bubble,” claiming it’s our campus’ fault that we’re tucked inside our conservative Christian world, oblivious to the news and happenings around us. In actuality, it isn’t Cairn’s fault. Ironically, Cairn provides ample resources and opportunities to get involved. This campus is not responsible for blowing a bubble—we are.

 

We are the bubble blowers, dipping our bubble wand into the soap of our own cares, desires, impulses, and problems, blowing our concerns and cares into a comfortable, multi-colored globe.

 

I am convicted of keeping my eyes glued to my bubble wand, invested only in the details of my own life. I have so many opportunities to be involved with Cairn’s campus, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the United States, and the world, yet I do not take advantage of them. This age of technology serves our opportunities on a silver platter—thousands of opportunities potentially piquing our various interests in music, art, sports, education, business, drama, ministry, etc.

 

But, my homework, social life, work schedule, and everything else that comes with being a college student often inhibits me from “doing more.” Good heavens, this is an excuse the Enemy loves to plant in our subconscious. God has called us to further His Kingdom and to serve Him by serving others. This is not an attempt to call anyone out, nor is it a call to overload your schedule. I AM seeking to call out those who pour their energy, affection, and time into pursuits, ideas, and activities that are trivial in the eyes of eternity.

 

Encouraging someone sitting next to you in class with truth or a positive word is a perfect way to utilize your class schedule for an eternal purpose. Showing Christ through your work ethic and diligence at your part-time job is a great way to be an effective witness for Christ. But what about those of us who are, honestly, so absorbed in our own schedules and life, we forget about this idea of serving Christ in our mundane activities? What about those of us who are evidently more concerned with our Instagram account, SnapChat streaks, maintaining a GPA above a 3.3, or being the funniest in our friend group, those of us focus on elements of this life that will fail to permeate beyond the realm of college?

 

I am striving to call out these people, to call out myself. Not only do we blow a bubble around our daily schedules and mindsets, but we tend to dip our wand into a lukewarm soap. We focus on our day to day engagements, hurrying to and fro while in the comfort of our bubble, oblivious to the “going-on” of the life existing outside our bubble. Lukewarm to the commission God has placed on our lives, and forgetful of the divine power and resources He has imparted to us.

 

And remember: you’re at Cairn. A college that invites students to walk a different path, a path that “is centered on Jesus Christ and the Word of God, one that will give them a broad perspective on the world that is engaging and purposeful, one that will change their life and take them in a direction that will make a difference in this world and the lives of those around them” (Cairn’s motto).

 

Key phrase: “make a difference in this world and the lives of those around them.” As far as I’m concerned, we can’t do that inside of our individual bubbles. Furthermore, what’s the point of attending Cairn—a school that exists in God’s name, for His name, and for serving others—if you aren’t willing to balance school with involvement?

 

People need Jesus—everywhere. And whaddya know? There are several hundred Christians tucked away on a scenic campus in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.

 

People need Jesus — everywhere.

 

So put down your bubble wand and dump out your soap. Exchange it for some life-giving water to share with those in darkness, those who thirst for Christ. Look for ways to make a difference outside of your own life, and use Cairn as a resource, remembering it is one of the many tools God has given you to further His kingdom.

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1 Comment

  1. March 11, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Amen!

    It takes a heart of Jesus to see the immediate needs around them on campus.

    As a side, I hope you have found empathy for those that are in their own bubble as well. Cairn is a unique place but it is definitely not an easy place to study. Some colleges demand all of you in academics, some educational programs focus on placements and experience off the campus, and some campus’s are all about the party scene and what fun you can have on campus.

    Being a small university, like a small U.S. town, everyone kind of has to learn to do everything. The larger you get the more specialized you get and narrow but deeper in scope. At Cairn you can choose to be a lot of things. Not only are you asked to get a degree like most colleges and study your general education. You are asked to also read through the whole Bible, an ancient literary work with so much linguistic cultural contextual skills to sipher through its meaning, as well as read through the arts & culture literary works of the epics. As a liberal arts college, you are often asked to read and write more then other colleges. So not only a heavy load of getting a professional degree, you are getting a heavy load of arts & culture as well linguistically.

    But on top of this, as a student you are asked to serve church a few hours a week for three years, that another stretch. Then we all want to have fun as college students. But also as a christian community we all know there is something more then just partying and fun, we want depth and real christian community that is going to meet the deep emotional, spiritual, mental, relational, and economic needs of our fellow classmates. But as the rest of society is having a hard time doing, sometimes you have to sacrifice something to be a christian community. For me I made sure I didn’t get A’s or at least put too much energy into getting A’s, because I wanted to serve others!

    but each persons calling to serve looks different as well. I just know that there was a piece of work from dallas theological center that described how it could actually be less glorifying to God to study there as a pastor and father and spouse if getting an A would cause you to not love those whom you were committed to in life. But not everyone at Cairn has the mental vigor to take on all of these loads either! some are way overloaded especially for some academic majors as well. Like education or music. or even social work. So its a hard time indeed. I hope that those who are more well off in many areas can help those in need.

    your bro in Christ,
    Caleb