Last Lecture is a regular event hosted by NU, where faculty and staff are asked to answer the question: “What wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?” This semester’s first Last Lecture featured Dr. Dave Thomas, who leads the Intercultural Studies program and teaches undergraduate and graduate Bible classes at NU.
Last Thursday, Thomas wasn’t about to pull any punches when he stepped up to the podium in Perks Lounge. His lecture focused on prayer, and he said that many – if not all – of our problems can be traced to a lack of prayer and spending time in the Word of God. His challenge to students was simple: over the next 30 days, devote 30 minutes to prayer and reading the Bible, just 15 minutes of each. And yes, this includes Sundays.
“Believe it or not, God listens to private prayers on Sundays,” he said.
At the end of those 30 days, Thomas said, you will be different; you will know the presence of God and your spirituality will be revitalized. You will be a person who walks in the Spirit, praying without ceasing, and you’ll be able to differentiate between the issues of your life – school, worries, etc. – and the substance of your life, that is, your relationship with God and those he’s called you to be with.
In addition to that challenge, he shared several pieces of wisdom with the students. He said to get involved with a local church, to sing during worship, to listen to the preaching, to tithe, and to run with people of the faith. Insomuch as it’s up to you, avoid people who tear you down or hinder your walk with Christ.
It isn’t easy, Thomas said, but “the only way to live life is to pick up the cross and follow. Everything else is death.”
Thomas also spoke to the search for a spouse, advising students to be the kind of person they seek to marry, because strength marries strength. He also took a moment to address the ring-by-spring and MRS degree jokes – saying that while it is often joked about, this isn’t a bad place to find your life-mate. Thomas said that there aren’t many places where you’ll find this many great people in the same space, so while he cautioned that it won’t work for everyone, this is a good place to be looking (freshman guys, I know what you’re thinking, but pump the brakes).
Thomas also urged students to allow their Christianity to shape their dating. Treat the other person as a brother or sister in Christ first, he cautioned, and as a potential mate second.
Above all, he urged submission to the will of God.
“If you will surrender to God, he will move heaven and earth for you,” he said.
Be sure to make it to a Last Lecture this semester, and allow the amazing men and women of God at NU to share the wisdom they’ve gained. The next Last Lecture will be Oct. 10, 7:00 p.m., in Perks Lounge.