This past weekend, my parents and I drove to Massachusetts to see my older brother compete in a big track meet. We drove through eight states, and I was so excited, still am! Oh my, God’s creation is glorious. Massachusetts is so incredibly beautiful; the sun is beating down and the warmth captivates me. The buildings are quant and quite lovely. And the creation around me is breathtaking. Since we are in Massachusetts, I decided we should visit Harvard, and my parents were on board, too. So we took a two hour detour, and here I am, on our way back down to Pennsylvania to see my older brother graduate (wow! So proud, but another story for another time).

As we drove into Harvard Square area, I began making comments about what “fancy Harvard people do,” and how entitled they are. I joked about the smart and entitled way that people at Harvard live, but you know that still small voice in your heart that tells you to stop, yet you’re so caught up in your hilarity and ways, that you’re not quite ready to listen? Well that was me and my, oh my, was God faithfully persistent in teaching me through it. What are your heart motives? Is the question that came to mind. Why am I sitting here at this beautiful school practically making fun of the wonderful people who go here? Am I jealous of their intellect? Am I conforming to stereotypes? Most definitely. Insecure in my own intellect and intelligence, a lesson I have been learning this year to be more aware of, and hopefully change my heart towards.

You see, my words are an outpour of my heart.

“But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.” – Matthew 15:18

My words reflect a heart that is insecure in her own intellect, working hard to prove that she is worth more, trying to satisfy her reputation in the letters she wears, the name and reputation of the university in which she attends, and the things that she does, but it will never be enough for her. Yet she continues to keep trying to gain the approval of others, that is where my heart lies. And on this very day, God used my trip to Harvard to show me that; something I was looking for to fill me when His love for me remains the same. The beautiful voice that continues to reassure me throughout this day: I loved you before you did your devotions and the same afterwards. I loved you before you were saved and the very same now. My love for you does not decrease or increase, it is perfect and full just the way that it is, unconditional and independent of your actions.

Another thing that God brought to my attention was this. My parents and I were looking for a place to eat around Harvard Square. We walked into a little organic burger shop, where I saw a cute boy reading a book. Figuring he was a student, I asked if he lived around here. He told me he was a student, and proceeded to tell me about the best places to visit within the hour we would be in the area. He talked, and I kept thinking about how cute he was and fantasizing, but anyways… he said something truly interesting and beautiful, though he may not have known it. He said, there’s not that much to do or see here, just like Vanderbilt, it’s pretty. They take the tours around, but there’s not much to see beyond that. Now don’t get me wrong, I am certain there is a lot more about Harvard that is beautiful and excellent than he let on too. From my experiences, boys don’t always have a lot of descriptive words to say, but what he said had some great truth in it. It isn’t about the buildings or the name, those things are fading and can be replaced very easily. It is about the people. Isn’t this wonderfully and splendidly true?

The first thing that comes to mind is summer camp. I absolutely adore summer camp, and often when people ask me where my favorite place to go is, my first thought is summer camp. It is a little piece of heaven and one of the many places I am blessed to call home. But as much as I would love to stay there the whole year and as beautiful as it is, the most wonderful thing about camp is the people. And such is the same with God. God’s heart is not so much for the things of this world, but for the people in it who he created, the people for whom His heart’s affections are set. And that, dear friends, is a beautiful thing that reveals even more about God’s heart. He isn’t interested in our affiliations with buildings, our outward reputations, the letters we wear, or the material things that we own in regards to our worth, but He is interested and invites us into an unconditional love for the people who He wants to call His own: you and me. He invites us into His family as those whom He loves: you and me. And He is interested in people like us, the ones who have nothing tangibly good enough to offer, simply broken hearts and messy vessels willing to be poured into and filled by His glorious light. May we say yes to that overflow each and every moment that we are here and may we accept that invitation into the loving arms of our gracious Father.

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