Friday, November 16, 2012

Harding University - A New Era

Harding University played an important role in my life. I enrolled as a Freshman after my junior year of high school. It was Fall 1987, the same year Dr. David Burks took the lead role as president of Harding. I was immature, eager to escape from something to something else, and severely undercooked. I needed a place to belong and Harding provided exactly what I needed. It was an exciting time and President Burks made a significant impression on me - a good one.

At age 17, I entered Harding with an eager faith, but a fragile faith. I needed so much help, and there it was awaiting me at Harding. I loved my Bible classes with Jimmy Allen, Neal Pryor, Jim Woodruff, and James Walters. I loved chapel. I loved peak of the week with Mike Cope and really appreciated Harding for letting Mike do his class in the Administration Auditorium and then in the Benson. I loved my social club, the English Department, the kindness and patience of Larry Long and Dennis Organ. I loved being the RA on 3rd floor of Keller dorm. I loved doing skits with Conquerors and going on spring break campaigns. I loved that I had friends when my heart broke. I loved that learned how laugh hard, play hard, ask hard questions of myself, God, and the church. I learned that God would be there for me no matter what. I learned that grace was more powerful than what I could muster up in my efforts to be right about everything. I look at my years at Harding as the single greatest span of positive spiritual development and spiritual formation in my life.

I count Harding among one of my successes - quite possibly one of the best choices of my life. I believe that I was guided there by God, that my experiences were Spirit led, and that I graduated from Harding not having lost faith, but rather deeply nurtured it. God is doing so much more at Harding than some of its theological statements let on.

I love Harding and have tremendous respect for how God used it in my life. The leaders there are sincere in their devotion and prayer.

I wish the best for Dr.  McClarty, for Harding, and for all the students who are there and will attend in the McClarty years.

1 comment:

Sheila said...

Chris, I don't know that we ever met (I graduated in '88), but I'm glad I happened across your blog and especially this post. I share your love for Harding, which was a true "mater" in my life in many ways beyond singing the alma mater. Thanks for sharing your experience here, and may God bless you.