It is now official. I will be a Resident Assistant for my third year in a row. It will be my last year that I will have my own dorm room, my own micro fridge, the RA tag on my door, and… wait what? These things are actually not what first pops into my mind. Rather, it will be another year in this position of influence. Is it wrong to want to influence people? Is it wrong to want to be in a position where it is easier to influence people? It completely depends on what I would like to influence my residents with. If I would like to use my position to elevate myself, then yes, it is entirely wrong. However, if my aim is to elevate my residents, then it is appropriate for me to want to influence them.
Whenever we speak, we want to influence people. If we wouldn’t want that, then we wouldn’t say anything. So when I speak and act, toward what end do I want my residents to be influenced? How exactly do I want to elevate them?
Through words of kindness and acts of love. I know that I have not been on my hall as much as I would have liked this year. I know that I have not gotten to know my residents as well as I would have liked to. I know that there are times I have not spoken words of kindness or acted in ways of love. It is for all these things that I am thankful for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who always overflows us with grace. Timothy Keller, in his book Every Good Endeavor, says:
“Your work will be only partially successful, on your best days, in bringing that world [a healed world] about. But inevitably… the beauty, harmony, justice, comfort, joy, and community… will come to fruition” (30).
I can do my best and fail, knowing that God is sovereign and will one day bring a new Heaven down to the new Earth, where all these blessings are there in full.
“But will you not be tired of doing the same things again for a third year?” I was asked. The answer is a simple no. When you work with people there is not a day that is like another. Even less does a semester or a year look anything alike.
Every day brings a new challenge when you deal with people made in the image of God who are daily dealing with the consequences of sin. Especially since you are one yourself. It is therefore, with reliance on the Gospel of peace, that I intend to finish this semester, and prepare myself for the tasks that God has prepared for me in the future.