Words of Warriors Defending the Bubble
By Grace Schonfeld
All my life I have been surrounded by a Christian community, and I can clearly see how it is preparing me for life in the secular world. I witnessed high school peers choose public colleges so they could either be a light to non-Christians or broaden their perspective of the world. I feel the protective Christian bubble I have been living in, but I don’t want to pop it. Living within the bubble is admittedly easier than braving the world, yet the personal growth I am experiencing far outweighs any benefit I see of having experiences in a secular environment.
I believe there are two types of growth that can occur: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal growth is what I see happening within my Christian friends who are at a public school. They are encountering more diversity within people’s opinions and upbringing, and face more possible hostility as they try to live out their faith, expanding what could be seen as a narrow Christian worldview. In a richly Christian community, however, I see myself instead growing vertically in depth of faith.
In high school, I attempted the discipline of reading my bible daily and praying longer than the few minutes of daily tooth brushing, but nothing would last. Sometimes, at the end of the day I would be too tired to focus on Scripture and felt that if I couldn’t give the passage the attention it deserves, I should instead read when I am more awake. Sunday services, weeknight youth group, weekly school chapel, and bible classes were all embedded in my routine and so I easily found excuses to not have a personal Bible study outside of those things because I had already done a church-ish thing that day.
At Westmont, all those institutional routines are still embedded in my weekly schedule, however, I committed to reading my bible daily and have slowly increased the time I spend in prayer. I now choose my “God time” over 20 minutes of extra sleep. This is because my heart is attuned to the joy and rejuvenating peace that overwhelm me in the most wonderful way possible in moments of prayer. When I surrender to God, letting go of stubbornness and pride, prayer truly becomes the happiest part of my day.
This habit flowed out of the Westmont community because professors and older students encouraged me to pray and read my Bible daily especially when I am academically overwhelmed: that is the season of life to spend the most time with God, as I’ve been told. While this habit and attitude towards prayer could fade even in my time at Westmont, because I am reminded and encouraged, I foresee it to be a continuing habit.
Much more than in high school, I am allowing God to be the foundation of my life instead of my own ability and understanding. This transformation is crucial to thriving according to God’s plan in a non-Christian world and the reason I believe a Christian community is rightly preparing me for life after college.