It was around 7 PM, there was a young man sitting in his room at his fraternity house. He was weighing his options. Earlier that day, he had received a call. The fraternity was on the verge of being shut down. His dream of making that place like Animal House had come true.
But it wasn’t like the movie.
They didn’t parade around the campus triumphant. The house had to keep it behind closed doors because what they were doing was against the school rules. And their general fraternity rules.
Nonetheless, it was all over now. They would close it all down. All the fun was over. What the heck was he going to do?
In a moment he would go buy a case of beer and attempt to drown away his anxiety, fear, and frustration. He would let it all go for the evening. Leave it until the morning when he would have to deal with it.
Knock, Knock, Knock
I walked a taller, blonde-haired brother. He was holding something in his hand. The one in the chair didn’t turn around, he just sat there quietly contemplating.
“Hey man, want to come to FUEL?” the brother asked from the doorway. He didn’t expect to get an answer in the affirmative. But he waited. Let it ruminate. “I know things haven’t gone well today, maybe you need to get out.”
“Sure, what do I have to lose?” the other said from the chair. His blonde-haired brother had asked him every Tuesday for the last semester if he wanted to go. And every Tuesday, he had made up an excuse. This week he thought it might be better than the case of beer.
Fuel was a Bible Study for fraternity and sorority students on my campus. It was part of an organization called Campus Crusade for Christ, now known as Cru. I didn’t have any experience with the group except from one of my oldest friends who was the fraternity brother who would ask me to go with him.
I remember thinking, well at least there will be some girls there. I knew it had about a 10 to 1, girl to guy ratio, every frat guy thought that was good.
Walking into the abandoned fraternity house, the frat who once lived there had been kicked off campus, I sat down in the back as someone was playing the guitar and leading singing. It was strange to me to think, this could happen to my fraternity. It would be used for something other than housing.
I hoped no one would talk to me. Sitting in the back was always a safe place if I couldn’t take it any longer. However, my safe haven was removed by two guys. One looked familiar and the other looked like a bodybuilder. They sat down next to me and struck up a conversation.
Clearly, I was new. And they weren’t going to make it easy for me to escape.
Esther 4 & the Voice that Spoke
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” — Esther 4:14 (NIV)
The speaker was speaking from a book of the Bible I had never heard of before. It was about an Israelite girl who had become the queen of Persia. She had been married to King Xerxes and one of his advisors wanted to kill all of the Israelites. Esther, while being queen could not go before the king without being called, had to ask King Xerxes to save her people.
If she were to go without being called, he could put her to death.
As she was contemplating what she needed to do. Her cousin, Mordecai, came to her and said the quote above. And like nothing less than the sound of rushing water the words, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” screamed at me. They continued to whirl around in my head the rest of the night.
When I think back to the rest of the night, it is a swirl of memories. It was like my world had just been opened up to something some deep and intense that I could not understand.
It was like being drunk, without the beer.
The speaker from the meeting caught me on the way out. Introduced himself and shared how he likes to meet with guys who come to FUEL. He and I set up an appointment to meet later that week. My life was about to change.
The Bible and Our Lives
I wasn't a Christian when I went to that meeting. In fact, I thought the entire place would go up in flames when I walked through the doors. My fraternity brother had assured me it wouldn’t happen. I was still concerned.
I believe the Bible has tremendous power over our lives. Even if we don’t believe it. If God created the world. And he created us to be in a relationship with him, why wouldn’t he leave a connect point for us to hear His Voice.
If the Bible is the Word of God and we want to know who God is, why wouldn’t we read it. Even if we are skeptical of God, it is the main text to understand more about God.
My life radically changed that semester.
The rushing in of the truth I heard from the Book of Esther opened my body, soul, and spirit to a world I had yet to explore. It prepared me to receive the Good News. And gave me the ability to hear what I could not hear before.
A Lasting Change
The young man left that meeting with a world before him. He didn’t understand it, but he knew he had to fight to keep that fraternity open. He would take responsibility for his actions. And he would not make excuses. There would be a time of review for that chapter house, and he would do everything he could to save it.
Not because it deserved to be saved, but because something was stirring in the place. And it all started with an invitation, a bible verse, and the bottom.
The fraternity didn’t get shut down. In fact, they saved it for a while. The young man had to deal with a lot of stress and opposition to how he wanted to make changes for the good of the chapter. While some of his fraternity brothers didn’t understand his change of heart, he continued to push forward.
After all, “who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.”