Altered Reality

angry 3Summer was just about over, and the start of another college year was just around the corner. There was a great deal of activity around campus as new and old students began to arrive. For John (not his real name), this would be the beginning of his senior year at Ambassador College.

This created a great deal of excitement and eager anticipation for him. For this was the year the college, and church would determine his destiny and service within the organization. Upon graduation later that summer, he would be either ordained into the ministry or he would take a position teaching at the college. Either way his prospects looked bright. This was perhaps the most exciting time of his life.

It was standard procedure for all the incoming and returning students upon arriving on campus to check in at the Registrar’s Office. Here they would receive their class assignments for the next semester, as well as confirmation of their dorm assignment. For him, as well as other single students, it was mandatory that they live on campus. This was not a hardship because the dorms were remodeled old mansions. They reflected the beauty and elegance of an era long since passed. It also provided an environment and atmosphere of quality and excellence for the students to live and study within. 

However, John’s arrival at college would commence with a most unusual and even frightening series of events…

It all started when he arrived too late at the college campus to register. His old car broke down twice, and he ran out of gas once. When he finally arrived on campus, it was almost midnight. That in itself was not a problem for he knew that he could register for wrong doarmhis classes the following day. What was more important now was to find a place to sleep. He had driven for almost two days straight and his brain felt like mush, he was completely exhausted. He already knew his dorm assignment since he had stayed there the previous year. But everything was locked up and he did not, as yet, have a key….but being a very creative student that small obstacle did not deter him. He knew that one window in his dorm, slightly behind a bush, did not lock properly. He simply and very quietly, he did not want to disturb anyone at that late hour, removed the screen, opened the window, crawled in and found an empty bed, took off his clothes and settle in for the night.

Early the next morning he awoke to very faint and distant voices. Although he did not immediately see anyone, he could hear muffled voices in the dorm. Stshowerill groggy from his two-day drive, which seemed like an endurance test, he gathered up his stuff and headed to the bathroom to shower and shave.

Now fully awake and prepared, so he thought, for the day. He opened the bathroom door, to his surprise and astonishment, what greeted him was completely unexpected. With absolute disbelief, he was staring into the irate and hostile eyes of about a dozen extremely angry coed’s. He was shocked with total disbelief that they would dare come into a men’s dorm. He paused for a moment then he started to ask them what they were doing there? Before he could even formulate the question, the situation took a sharp and dangerous turn. shower 3The female students started yelling and screaming and attacking him. They began to throw various objects at him. Reaching him, they began to merciless beat him with anything they could find. Now fearing for his life, he ran with just his shorts and shirt on, for the unsecured window. Before he could dive through the window to safety, someone reached in and violently pulled him through. An officer from the Pasadena police department and one very muscular college security guard grabbed him. They tackled and wrestled him to the ground. There the officer handcuffed him and immediately placed him in the squad car so fast he hardly knew what had happened. He sat in the squad car completely dazed, battered and bruised from the beating the girls gave him. 

He must have been thinking this could not possibly be happening, it must be a nightmare, and I need to wake up. However, it was not, it was for real and he was now in police custody. The officers took him, and placed him in a jail cell, there he sat in his new bright red jail suit. There were numerous charges filed against him. So many that the paperwork looked like a mystery novel. 

He remained in his cell for almost 10 hours. Finally, the police and college officials sorted jailout the bazaar events of the morning. It seems that he actually had been assigned to that dorm before he left for the summer break. However, what he did not know was that during the summer the college housing officials changed the dorm plans; instead of a men’s dorm, they changed it into a woman’s dorm. Had he checked in when he should have this situation would never have taken place. Since he got to the campus too late he had no way of knowing that the dorm assignments had changed, and that he had inadvertently crept into a woman’s dorm.

Later that evening, when the police finally sorted out all the facts, they saw the humor in the big mistake the student made. They decided not to file any charges and released him into the custody of college officials.

Now a little unsettled, and somewhat battered, well actually considerably battered, he  looked like the women beat him with an ugly stick, both eyes were blackened, his nose now has a strange bend, and there were several bruises on his arms, back and legs.

Once back on campus he was too embarrassed to go back to the women’s dorm for his belongings so he asked a friend if he would collect them for him …his friend cautiously used the front entrance at high noon. For by then every student on campus knew you did not mess with these women!

The college locksmith immediately fixed the broken latch on the window to prevent any more unexpected intruders, friendly or otherwise. The security force made regular scheduled visits to the area to be sure this situation could never happen again.

Life on campus was fun, and far from being dull and routine.

Few things are more dangerous than jumping to conclusions or making assumptions. That is what too many Christians do today. With just partial information and inadequate teachings, most followers assume they have it all or worse yet know it all. It is no wonder most Christians live, day to day in uncertainty and even in fear.

This fear is so unnecessary. One of the greatest proclamations Jesus made repeatedly to His followers; do not be afraid, do not worry. If we focus on our daily problems, we will never be free from fear and uncertainty. To be free from fears and doubts, our focus must to be centered on Him; the giver of life, the giver of real hope and security. Nothing less will do! It takes more than just an academic belief, it takes knowing (not just hoping) from the heart, our innermost being that He lives. Equally as important is the understanding that He really cares about us, about you. 

Without these basic beliefs we can find ourselves in a legalistic jail with little hope of release or escape; all the time wondering how we ever got into this living nightmare of self-condemnation. If you are living this spiritual nightmare, perhaps it is time to wake up and get to know the real Savior. He is there waiting, with a big smile on His face to set you free, and to give you the peace, hope and security you long for. Choose wisely.


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