More Than a Credit: My Spiritual Life Experience

Annie Seboe
Spiritual formation goes deeper than a task on a to-do list.

Note: This post was originally written in spring 2023.

If you have been a student at HU for any amount of time, you know that the 30 spiritual life credits you must earn each semester are vital to your success. However, with the busyness of classes, internships, practices, and social lives, the individual importance of each spiritual life experience is sometimes lost. We tend to turn these meaningful times of worship into a 45-minute period of waiting for a QR code. Drawing from my personal experience at a recent chapel service, I hope that you can see the invaluable impact that spiritual life events can have in your life if you are attentive and have an open heart.

On March 14, HU’s volleyball coach Kelsey Herber spoke in chapel, drawing her message “Writings in the Sand” from John 8:1-11. In this story, Jesus defended a woman who had been accused of adultery. The Pharisees wanted to stone this woman and asked Jesus what His opinion was. Instead of agreeing to their plan, Jesus bent down and wrote in the sand, saying, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). After the Pharisees left, Jesus encouraged the woman in grace and truth by telling her she was not condemned and to leave her life of sin.

Kelsey explained that while it is not known what Jesus wrote in the sand, God may have left this part of the Bible ambiguous so that we could have Jesus write whatever we needed to take with us. Then, she encouraged us to reflect on what that word could be for us and to share our word with someone we trusted.

As I reflected on which word Jesus would write in the sand for me, I imagined what the scene would look like. The Savior of the world is in front of me, powerful and majestic, and yet the greatest example of humility and intentionality. He kneels in the dirt and dust to encourage me, His completely undeserving and yet completely valued child. Maybe for the woman, Jesus wrote “forgiven.” For me, Jesus would write “trust” in the sand. For Kelsey, Jesus would write “free.” What word would Jesus write in the sand for you? What word would He write for HU?

This chapel service had a major impact on my life. After chapel, I made the word “trust” into my phone background as an ever-ready reminder of Jesus’ promises to me: I can trust Him with the plans and purposes of my life. Because I can trust Him, I do not have to live in fear.

This is just one perspective of one day in chapel. I know several other people on campus who have had life-changing experiences at other spiritual life events, such as floor worships, FCA, service events, or MBL worship nights. When we take time to appreciate the heart behind spiritual life opportunities, we will be more grateful for each chance we have to worship. Every chapel service or spiritual life event may not be “for you,” but each one is for the glory of Jesus.

Written by
Annie Seboe