Have you ever had one of those crazy, wonderful, scare-you-out-of-your-mind experiences where you learn more in the space of about 10 minutes than you have in probably the past 10 months?
Something like that happened to me toward the end of the first semester of my sophomore year. I had changed my major from biology to journalism and mass communication at the end of freshman year, and I was taking an introductory JMC class called Fundamentals of Electronic Media.
One of our final projects for the class was to produce a live 10-minute radio broadcast. When the day came to perform the show, I was ready for it. I had practiced loading my CDs, working the soundboard and performing the semi-improvisational speaking parts until I could almost do it all in my sleep.
I walked confidently into the broadcast room, sat down at the soundboard and when the timer clicked on, I began my show. For the first seven minutes of the broadcast, everything flowed seamlessly. But then I cued the CD player to start the final song, and everything fell apart.
The first few lines of the song played just fine, but then the CD began to skip uncontrollably. Then it stopped.
“What am I going to do?” I said to myself, thoughts racing. “This song is scheduled to play for two more minutes. I can’t just have dead air for two minutes!”
So with trembling fingers I pressed “play” again, and the same thing happened. Play, skip, stop.
The “no dead air—ever” principle had been so firmly ingrained in me that I just kept pressing the “play” button. Play, skip, stop. Play, skip, stop. This went on for the remainder of the two minutes the song had been scheduled to play, and when the clock hit nine minutes, I jumped right into the show’s conclusion.
I walked out of that broadcast booth still shaking all over from those 10 minutes of sheer terror and was met with a thunderous round of applause from the entire class who had been listening in the next room.
“I didn’t know what to do,” I stammered. “It just kept skipping.”
I was afraid I had utterly failed the assignment. But my professors assured me that I had done the right thing, and Mr. Lurtey, one of the class’s professors and a master of all things technological, even edited the song (sans skipping) into the broadcast’s recording, which I still keep tucked away in a drawer as a memento.
So what seemed to me at the time to be a complete disaster turned out to be one of the most memorable and rewarding learning experiences of my college career. And come to think of it, my entire four-year experience here at BJU has been a lot like those crazy 10 minutes, with countless lessons packed into a very short time.
Time and time again, I’ve seen the lessons I learned during that 10-minute broadcast play out in my BJU experience. What are they? Persistence, calmness under pressure, doing what you know is right no matter how hard it is—the list goes on and on.
But more than that, I learned some important things about God. God doesn’t ask us to be perfect. He simply wants us to do all we can with what He’s given us. So if that means pressing “play” over and over again until a two-minute slot in your radio program is over, press that button with all your heart and don’t give up.
Are you feeling stuck right now, like your CD keeps skipping and you can’t make it stop? Then just keep pressing your “play” button—keep persevering, keep doing what you know is right and keep trusting God. Life is hard and can be a bit overwhelming at times, but when things are the hardest, that’s when God is using your situation to teach you and mold you into the person He wants you to be.
My “10 minutes” here at BJU are rapidly drawing to a close, but I will take the valuable lessons I’ve learned during this time with me wherever God calls me in life.