by Tasha Willaford, Student Life Director for SEU Ohio
“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:19-20 (ESV)
As I have reflected over the last few days on what the Lord has already done and continue to pray for what He will do, my prayers are frequently focused on unity for our campus body. In doing so, I was reminded of a particular season during college when our basketball team really struggled with unity. I cannot overstate how terrible we were at this time, and it impacted the cohesion of our team significantly. Our timing during games, our communication, relational dynamics outside of practice, etc. was all off. Miraculously in one game we had kept it close enough that we could have potentially won had our free-throw percentage been in what our coach deemed an acceptable range (in layman’s terms it was abysmal).
To help us grow in making pressure free-throws, the following day at practice our coach decided it was important to exhaust us by running sprints, have us shoot 20 free-throws, run for every missed shot and repeat. While this does not seem too terrible for some, multiple teammates who struggled the previous night accrued between 30 and 40 additional sprints. As the few of us who were finished watched our teammates struggle and look more and more defeated with each missed shot and begin to run their sprints, something changed in how we viewed one another. No longer were we focused on what each teammate could do/not do in the games, but we were suddenly eager to ensure that no one had to carry such a massive load of running that many sprints alone. By choosing to stay and run with our teammates we became more unified as a team, which changed the dynamic for the rest of the season.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
This year as a campus we have explored what it looks like to be On Mission for Jesus. We have been intentional to shift our focus both individually and as a student body to what God is wanting for us rather than be distracted by the many things each day can bring to keep us off mission. As we think about this through the lens of fasting, I am reminded that as I engage in this spiritual discipline it is not just for my own spiritual growth and health but for that of my family, of our student body, of our ministry network, etc. as my prayers become more outwardly focused.
Each moment today that you are triggered by a pang of hunger, a headache from lack of sugar or caffeine, I encourage you to shift your focus to pray for a peer, a faculty, or a staff member as we join together in fasting for a fresh move of God’s Spirit to be poured on SEU Ohio.