College. New acquaintances, new place, new opportunities and challenges. I had a scholarship, a loving supportive family at home, and a christian school where I surely wouldn’t have the same values differences I perceived in high school. I thought my baggage was certainly left behind, and I was to be among christian friends here.
Sometimes that’s just not the case though. Further, I’m afraid I was still misunderstanding what being a christian really meant. I was equating “christian” with works more than beliefs. I was still judging people’s christianity by their actions and thinking I was in good shape if judged by the same standard.
But I was unaware of the problem. I came from a school where I had finished fairly well, and I expected even better at LC given the Baptistness of the school. The first instance of disillusionment came through hazing. That’s right. In the second week of the semester, upperclassmen came through the hallways of the dorms, rounding up freshmen, putting bags over our heads and stripping us to underwear. To a guy who understood I was to “turn the other cheek,” and had tested myself on the principle some already in life, this was stretching my limits on the point. We were then directed into a trailer, or truck bed, or something (I couldn’t see). We were doused with flour, taken through a car wash, and then dumped in the grounds of a local mental institution, to find our way back to campus. The bad news is that I was quite disappointed in the christian students of this new school behaving as such. The good news is that given the “persecution” I had endured in jr. high, I took the abuse in stride. As a matter of fact, the next night I had an escape plan already in place when I heard the familiar hooves of the lynch mob coming up the tile hall way of the dorm. I had an escape ladder hanging out from my second story window. I climbed down to a waiting 6 foot tall senior. I got extra doses of everything that night. I still remember fondly my walk back to campus with a guy named Rick, both of us soaked and covered in who-knows-what, wearing nothing but boxers, and deciding to detour through the girls’ dorm to see who we could meet.
The next spoonful of disillusionment I would take would be much more significant, but much less visible. I tried to keep it quiet . . .