Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Melancholy (or Plaque Build-Up)

     I signed on to facebook. Within eight posts, three of them were about saying goodbye to someone who died recently. I hate death. I know loss too well, but it is a part of life. Add that to the possible closure of my Alma Mater and you get melancholy (plus the music I'm listening to isn't helping. Might as well be "Theme from Ice Castles"). It's been reported that if Bethany University doesn't receive a total of $500,000.00 by midnight tonight, the doors will close.  Sad. So very sad to me. I spent four years of my life there, made lifelong friends, met my bride, encountered God in unforgettable ways... But it's just a piece of property with buildings on it. Why would I get all worked up over that?
     As I mentioned, God met me in so many ways and in various places on that campus. In the Old Testament, people made altars at places where God had done something significant. I have many personal altars at Bethany. Since graduating it has been nice to be able to go back and visit them. So, that would be a loss if Bethany is no more. I would also have to give up the idea that my kids would attend there someday and have similar experiences as I did. Of course they will be on their own tracks and God has His plans for them, but it is still a nice thought.

     If the school does close, there's one thing I want. During my Sr. year, a friend of mine and I spent a Tuesday night walking around the campus and taking fun pictures in creative places. I was on senate so I had a key to the offices. We came across a plaque in the Sr. class president's desk that had the title "Seniors of the Year." Underneath the title were engraved names dating back several years of people who had been elected "Seniors of the Year." There was one blank spot left, and the last engraving was from the graduating class 2 years before ours. The tradition had obviously been dropped and the plaque tucked away, but we thought we had the perfect candidates for our graduating class. We took a piece of binder paper and wrote our names on it and the only adhesive we could find was band aids. So we "taped" our names on the last empty space, took some pictures then put it back in the drawer, all but forgetting about it.
     The following year the new Sr. class president came across the plaque with our bandaged self nominations. He assumed his predecessor just didn't get around to having the names engraved, so he took it upon himself to do so. Though our class had no idea, my friend and I were officially named "Seniors of the Year."
     I want that plaque. I have no idea where it is on campus or if it even still exists, but I want it. I want more for the school to stay open, and God can do a miracle in the next hour and forty nine minutes. But open or closed, I want that plaque. What a fun memory. And now that I've written about it, I'm not feeling so melancholy after all. God is in control.

UPDATE: They located my plaque! It's a little worse for the wear, but it still exists! It is now being held in Sacramento at the District Resource Center. I don't know what hoops I have to jump through or who's palm I have to grease, but let the jumping and the greasing begin!


Lisa S. said...

God is in control. What a wonderful thing. It holds the world together. I believe in miracles and hope that the word gets out that you want that plaque. Hope it appears when you need it most :) Thanks for the blog. I need to read them as much as you need to write them.

Donald said...

This is a sad day; I too spend four years at this wonderful place. I remember driving onto the campus as a 19 year old and being amazed by the people who came into my life.
My wife and I met at Bethany in a Stan Steward Theology class. We were married while attending and graduated together. While I met so many wonderful people while attending, I met God in the prayer room in Craig Chapel. I pray another miracle happens and God is praised through these trying times.

Shane said...

Donald, loved that prayer room. Some serious travailing went on in there. So many of us have similar Bethany experiences with different details. Long live Bethany.

mike said...
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mike said...

Gang shower songs...oh the memories! Great post Shane. God definitely met me there too (not in the gang showers though). So thankful for the Bethany experience. You and several others made a difference in my life. Congrats on the Senior of the Year!

Shane said...

Mike, that still makes me laugh when I literally think about it. You were a good friend.