Growing up I played a lot of football. I loved the camaraderie and challenge that came with youth sports, and any child in South Texas can testify that Friday Night Football is the pinnacle of competition. Suiting up was a chore, but I knew that each piece of equipment was vital for my safety on the field. One of the most overlooked items was the ubiquitous mouth guard. This chew toy was cumbersome and crusty, a magnet for grass and grit. Most of us stuck them into the facemask of our helmet to keep it out of the way. All gridiron gladiators know the hollow rattle of the mouth guard banging against their helmet as they jog onto the field. The purpose of the rubbery equipment is to prevent injuries to the teeth, tongue, cheeks, and jaw. Each one must be heated and molded to the individual user, to ensure proper protection. Generic mouth guards don’t work as well.
Looking back on the process, I realize parallels with how we apply God’s Word in our lives. In similar fashion, a generic reading of Scripture doesn’t work as well as a personalized application of the Good Book. I used to have to dip my mouth guard in boiling water for a few seconds and then pull it out, shake excess moisture off, and clamp down. It formed to my teeth, providing a unique fit that only worked for me. No one else could use my mouth guard. It was just for me. I encourage each of you in your daily devotions to seek God’s direction in Scripture.
One of the best blessings of sharing time in Chi Alpha Campus Ministries is that all of our experiences were unique. Each of us has a one-of-a-kind story of how we learned and grew through Chi Alpha. The same Jesus that guided us through collegiate struggles cares for us today. The same Holy Spirit that led us to learn and grow continues that process within us. The same loving Father that has laid out a plan for our lives continues to lavish His love on us.
Just like each Chi Alpha chapter has its own unique culture, and we each have our own path, the Word of God acts like those trusty mouth guards that adapts and fits to each one of us. My fellow alumni, let’s keep God’s Word close to everything that comes out of our mouth. Jesus reminded us that out of the abundance of our hearts we will speak. I know we share kindred spirits with those who have spent any length of time involved in Chi Alpha. Encourage those around you with your unique experiences, and trust that our loving God continues to watch over and protect us through His Word.
Be blessed and encouraged!