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Wise As Doves

When I was a college freshman here at UT, they had a Freshman Convocation where many of the bigwigs on campus spoke to an auditorium full of us college greenhorns about the history, prestige, culture, and so on of this fine institution.

Afterwards, we were able to mingle with them on stage, visit, network, and the like. I took full advantage of it and chatted with several. When I met the President of the university, I had some nebulous notion of evangelical boldness and asked him something about whether or where he went to church on Sunday mornings.

He was noticeably taken aback and uncomfortable with this rather direct approach from a pipsqueak. He hemmed and hawed a moment before admitting that he probably played more golf than he should on Sunday morning.

Of course, I hadn’t planned this conversation out beyond my opening salvo, so had no gracious exit strategy for either of us, so said the first “reasonable” response that came into my head: “Oh. Ok. I was just wondering who was running this place.”

I pray God used it for good, but it was a pretty pathetic excuse for loving another human being into the kingdom. I was a fairly young believer in addition to being young, but I should have known better. As faculty, we need to remember and be patient with our students when they are professionally awkward towards us. They are rookie adults after all.

In today’s culture, they are more likely to be innocent as serpents and wise as doves, probably the most dangerous combination. We have the privilege of guiding them towards the reverse image, into the beauty of Christ’s proverb.


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