When you are a student athlete, you have little time for anything else. Having a college schedule that requires physically being in class only a couple hours a day is a life-saver, but there are so many more things to do than when you were a dependent living at home and in high school. I am involved in more than just what is required and try to have time for myself as well as fun things, too. This is kind of what that looks like: practice, class, chapel, church on Sunday nights, team Bible study on Mondays, team meetings, weight room workouts, dorm meetings, daily things like studying, packing and unpacking bags, required study hall hours at certain places within certain times, all the things that just come up like more meetings, assignments, mandatory class outings and programs to attend, doctor’s appointments, etc. Sometimes you have to go to the store to buy snacks and real food (especially if you don’t have unlimited meal plan), soap, paper, Band-Aids and things like that. With all the traffic, it takes longer to get places, requires more gas, both of which require more time. Don’t forget to take a shower, wash your face, shave, do your laundry, take out the trash, eat, sleep and call your mom. Think that sounds busy? That’s just the things we have to do. There’s also team devotional, dorm festivities, clubs, service work, personal Bible study and little projects that we all just like to do for pleasure. Nashville is a tourist city, so you have to go out and have some fun, too. It’s healthy to get out. Due to all this business, sometimes I feel like I never see any people. The days fly by, which is fun, but that can also make you feel like you don’t have interaction with the people you have come so close to! That is why those extra activities are so important. These college years are blessings from God as a time to get away from what we’ve always known and experience new things and new people. School is important, but it shouldn’t overwhelm us to the point of misery. That is why I look forward to dinner every day. Not only does the Bison Cafe have some of the best food ever, I also have an unlimited meal plan, so I can go in there as often as I want, and our team is so big, I can almost always count on someone I know being in there. To double that, the guys team are just as fun and friendly as the girls, and I need them. They eat more, and so do I. (And I’m slow.) You also aren’t allowed to take your backpack in, so that keeps you from trying to stress over homework at least for a little while.
Whether it is just a few or one of our big “family meals” where we have so many in there at once we pull up tables together and take up a whole section, there is no doubt there is good fellowship. We always say that we spend way too much time in there. We always end up having such a great time that we don’t want to leave! There have been nights that some of us have stayed in there talking well past closing time when there’s not even any food left.
I don’t think that the good feelings at the dinner table are just coincidence either. I believe that God gave us mealtime as a time to fellowship with each other, relax and appreciate what we have and the people around us. The Bible even says so.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers.” Acts 2:42
“All who believed were together and had many things in common. They were…distributing proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all people.” Acts 2:44-47
One of Jesus’s most important times was with His closest friends at a meal.
“And He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them saying, ‘This is my body, which is given to you. Do this in remembrance of Me.'”
Food is not only good and necessary, but it is a reminder of God’s provision and ultimate sacrifice, something else we can rejoice in at mealtime!
Jesus also performed many miracles in the context of food and fellowship, such as feeding the 5,000, turning water into wine, helping the disciples catch boatloads of fish, sending manna from heaven and many more.
“So then, brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together.” 1 Corinthians 11:33
“That each may eat, drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil, for this is a gift from God.” Ecclesiastes 3:13
No matter how my day has been, I can count on the caf to bring me food that is sweet to my stomach and to my soul.
Where do you go to get away from the stress of school life? If you don’t, what could you do to have this time?