Well, I haven't blogged in a while, because my life has been completely absorbed by this little thing called College Night. Actually, it's kind of a big deal. For those who don't know, College Night is Montevallo's Homecoming- one of the oldest homecoming traditions in the U.S. The entire school splits into two sides-Purple and Gold (I'm Gold!)-and competitions between the two occur throughout the entire month after we get back from Christmas break. Points are awarded for the winners in each category. We compete in sports-volleyball, soccer, and basketball-but most of the points come from a theatrical production put on by both sides. It is written, casted, directed, choreographed, designed, costumed, and performed by students only. So, while we are taking 12+ hours of school, participating in Greek life and trying to get decent sleep, we are practicing 6+ hours a day during the week and all day on the weekends (including that 24 hour cue-to-cue). It truly is a miracle that we survive! But that's beside the point.
Although College Night is very overwhelming, and sometimes almost unbearable, it is the most exhilarating, incredible, fun, creative thing I have ever been a part of. The result of those 4 weeks of hard work overcompensates for the fatigue you feel every single day. At the beginning, it makes a month seem so long, like the performance couldn't come fast enough. Then after it's over, you can not believe you did all that work in such a short amount of time.
We perform the show Wednesday-Saturday, with the Saturday night show being judged. Both groups stand on stage and wait in terrible anticipation for the announcement. I'm talkin' hands held, knees shaking, no breathing anticipation. Then comes one side's catch phrase which is hidden in some long speech by the SGA President. One side goes absolutely nuts and makes complete fools of themselves while the other side stands in utter shock. Each person involved works incredibly hard on their specific task, so the realization of a loss is really heartbreaking-believe me, I felt it last year. However, both sides have victory parties, because either way it's a huge accomplishment to put on such a show, and then we have strike the next day. The winning side gets bragging rights and certain privileges for the entire year.
Then you begin to miss those people with which you created this masterpiece. That's probably the best element of CN. The people. Together you've experienced excitement when you first read through the script, body ache after the first practice, disappointment when you have to redo a number, delusion during those wee hours of the morning, sweet words of encouragement when you think you can't go on, and that unexplainable feeling when you've won a victory. This year it was a Gold Victory (GV!), and I couldn't be more thrilled.
I say all that to 1. inform people about College Night and 2. to tell about the particular experience I had this year. Last year, the time consumption of CN totally wiped out any time I had to spend with the Lord. When I wasn't in practice or class, I would do homework or sleep. And although I knew the Lord was still with me, I really didn't acknowledge Him all that much. After a realization at Passion '11, I knew I could not go through this CN the same way. I realized that the chains I had holding my hands and feet, the chains of school and CN, must be wrapped around the Big Chain holding my heart. That NO MATTER WHAT my life must be linked with Christ. So I set a goal to begin CN practices by reading a word of scripture or simply praying with the whole cast. I told the Ecclesia leadership team and they kept me accountable. It amazed me how much bringing the Lord into our practices changed attitudes, made people work harder, and kept the complaining down. The cast was so encouraging, and instead of leaving practice drained, I came to practice drained and left in high spirits. It really was a cast filled with God's presence, and I definitely think that played into our victory. I was also able to use things I learned from working Student Life last summer to really invest in my castmates' lives and love on them. I know that even if we didn't win, my month would not have been for nothing.
The Lord uses each and every one of us in ways we can't even imagine, and I know this month He worked through me. Mechay was tired, disappointed, stressed to the max, angry, impatient, brain-dead, and ready to quit. But the Lord was revived, encouraging, calm, content, joyful, patient, creative, and persevering for me. And He MADE me be that for others. Thank you, Jesus, and GV!