My grandmother recently passed away. We had known that her time on earth was short, as she had been in a nursing home over a year, and several hospital trips signaled deteriorating health. I was a pallbearer for the funeral. As we laid my grandmother’s body to rest, I surveyed the crowd and saw the faces of her family legacy. Later we all gathered at her favorite Mexican restaurant, and amidst the clinking of silverware and the murmur of conversation, I took a moment to examine the fruits of her labor. She always made family a priority and encouraged each and every one of us in our faith. My grandmother loved her family, and as her children and grandchildren grew up we also focused on our relationships. There were some tears, but we rejoiced in her life and celebrated that she was now with her Savior.
The last Chi Alpha meeting of my college career was special. My campus pastor had asked me to deliver the message. After almost three years of learning, leading, small-group Bible studies, and large conferences, my time was up. I felt moved by God to speak on Legacy since I knew that I was moving on but work was yet to be done. I encouraged students with the story of Elijah and Elisha, my favorite example of discipleship. Elisha followed Elijah from place to place, living life and communing with him. When the time came, he confirmed the transferal of anointing by moving in similar works. His eyes were opened and he announced to his mentor, “My father, my father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” (2 Kings 2:12). The mantle of Elijah stayed behind, and Elisha picked it up…because there was work yet to be done.
My favorite part of Chi Alpha is the relationships. We alumni are all beneficiaries of this campus ministry. The old adage proves true: no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Elisha walked with a man of God and saw the sacrifice, dedication, and perseverance that his anointing called for, and asked for a double portion. I walked beside my campus pastors, journeyed through the Discipleship by Design curriculum, and trekked all across North Texas to soak up the wisdom of missionaries in the field, and desired to impact my home campus. My mother and her siblings saw my grandmother persevere through a divorce, miscarriage, and migrant work, and committed their lives to uphold the principles she stood for. Surrounded by family at the restaurant, I recalled the words of Saint Paul in Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Elijah ran his race, I finished my courses at Texas State, and my grandmother has crossed her finish line.
Even though I am no longer on campus, I can trust that God is using Chi Alpha to train a new generation of soul-winners each year. I fondly remember our motto: Everyone Goes, Everyone Gives, Everyone Prays, and I offer my prayers and finances to continue to fuel the fires of revival spreading across campuses worldwide. I encourage you to send up a prayer for your alma mater today, and consider a special offering to your local Chi Alpha… because there is work yet to be done.
Be blessed and be encouraged.