I Believe in Getting Dirty, by Abby Henegar

As I type, I am currently waiting out these next few hours before I can enroll in my fall semester classes for my senior year. It is crazy to believe that in just a few weeks, I will be a senior in college. I am graduating early in order to save a few bucks but mainly I am graduating early to have a few years to get my hands dirty. For once in my life, I finally understand what it means to get your hands dirty.

This past spring break I had an amazing opportunity to go to Nashville, Tennessee to learn about social justice and putting faith into action through TCU’s Faith Acts organization.  Over the course of the week, I was able to meet some of the most amazing, God loving people.  I hung on to every word these passionate and inspirational people spoke.  The most important word of advice this diverse group of people gave was: jump right in, be willing to scrub toilets, and don’t be afraid to get dirty.

I’ve never been afraid of a little dirt, but I always had this feeling that the world was telling me that I should be afraid of dirt. Dictionary.com defines dirt as any foul or filthy substance. Our world is terribly afraid of getting dirty and being seen as foul or filth. The term dirty is used to describe the sick, the poor, mentally ill, minorities, and the marginalized.  There is pressure in today’s age to rid ourselves of all our dirt so that we can be perfect, clean individuals.

It took long conversations with God for me to accept and embrace myself getting dirty.  I realized that the desire to be a perfect, clean individual was something that I didn’t want. The desire for perfection came from the world around me.  Perfection is impossible and it takes too much effort to be constantly giving off the impression that I have my life together.  Life is messy and the wasted time and effort spent trying to clean up life can be used for something more important and in line with God’s purpose for my life.   Real, honest life requires getting dirty.  While I have learned some things in the classroom, I have learned so much more about myself, others, God, and the world outside of the classroom, with my hands in the dirt.

I believe in getting dirty.  I prefer it.  It doesn’t line up with what society deems a perfect clean life, however I’d much rather spend my life with my hands in the dirt trying to make sense of the world than have the world tell me how to make sense of myself. Getting dirty, serving others and putting my faith into action is what I want in life.  It is all I’ve ever wanted.

So while I’m still waiting for that class portal to open and for senior year and all that it brings, I’m looking forward to getting dirty the most. Get dirty with me.  Go try something you’ve always wanted to try but were too afraid to go through with.  Go smile at a stranger.  Go call  someone you haven’t talked to in a while.  Go volunteer. Go make disciples. Go for a run.  Go do what your heart tells you.  After all,  the Lord God formed a man from the DIRT of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being [Genesis 2:7].

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GA TIB BOOK Abby HenegarAbby Henegar is a rising senior at Texas Christian University from Centralia, Illinois.  She is a psychology major, sociology minor involved in Disciples on Campus and Faith Acts.  She is very thankful for the amazing opportunities TCU has and will continue to provide for her to live out her faith.

I believe in Servitude

Author: Alex Nied, TCU Student, Fall 2014

I believe in servitude.

How do you define a great person? Is it by their education, wealth, power or maybe accomplishments? I believe that in order to be great one must be a servant to others. Martin Luther King Jr. said that everyone can be great because everyone has the ability to serve.

I had the opportunity to work with women in the RISE program this summer. These ladies have 3 or more felony counts of prostitution against them. They chose to enter the program rather than going to prison and are now healing from year’s worth of psychological and physical damage with the help of therapy, group classes and service. I understood my job to be helping them, but it turns out they became my teachers. I was getting the most out of the relationship – not the other way around. These women have lost everything – their families, jobs, privileges, even themselves – and yet they continue to love and serve with their entire beings. MLK also said all you need to serve is a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love. The RISE ladies revealed to me the importance of serving others. They taught me that service is a privilege and if you are able – you must serve. The feeling of helping someone and receiving no fame for that service – is the ultimate reward we will ever attain. The women continually reminded me that when they lost themselves in the service of others that is truly when they found themselves.

I believe that service to others is a privilege and a path to greatness. We don’t have to have everything figured out to serve. There is no college degree or manual for servitude, all we need is a heart full of grace. As the author of 1st Peter says, everyone should use their gifts to serve others in order to administer God’s grace. So ask yourself, what have you done for the service of others lately?

I believe in America’s fraternity

Author: Steven Hofmann, TCU Student, Business Major, Published Fall 2012

I am in America’s fraternity.

It’s not Greek. It was born right here on U.S. soil. It’s the biggest, the toughest, most selfless, most accomplished, and most respected fraternity you can imagine. We’ve never lost anything we’ve been involved in. In my fraternity, uncommon valor is a common virtue. My letters don’t resemble the ones you’re familiar with. My letters read “U.S.M.C.,” and they stand for the United States Marine Corps.

Being a part of this fraternity means more to me than proving I’m the coolest guy, than being the one that can drink the most, meeting a bunch of girls, or being the most connected person in my circle of friends. To me it’s about going through both an internal and external transformation. During my “rushing” process, I not only earned the esteemed title of “Marine,” but I also became a part of something much greater than myself. I became part of an elite history of discipline, loyalty, leadership, and gallantry. My “rush” week was 12 weeks long, 7 days a week, twenty-four hours a day, and even after all that I was STILL a peon! To me it means having a brother. Not a brother who gives me his notes to class, or lets me borrow his fake ID. I’m talking about a brother that gives you his last canteen of water when you’ve been on a patrol, in 117-degree heat, with no sign of your next re-supply opportunity.

I mean a brother who runs out of any cover or concealment, into the screaming of rounds whistling by his ear. With no concern for himself or his family, he comes and picks me up, both of us in 80lbs of gear, and puts me on his shoulder. One hand on me, one hand on his weapon and the rapping of death at our door, he carries me back to the cover of our vehicle. Without a doubt, he is the only reason I am here today. That’s the type of brother my fraternity produces.

In my brotherhood, community service means service to my country. Service to my country means protecting my fellow Americans. Protecting my fellow Americans means being a part of America’s Fraternity and being a part of my fraternity, means that you have the freedom to be a part of your fraternity too.