Finding God on Gannon’s Campus

Often when I’m feeling particularly down in the dumps, or feeling any kind of extreme emotion, really, I turn to contemporary Christian music to cheer me up.

It has a soothing effect on me that I haven’t quite found anywhere else in my life up to this point. Even if I’m not completely paying attention to the message of the song, the tone of the music is always exactly what I need to hear.

You could say Tuesday was “one of those days” for me, but even the cliché doesn’t do it justice. To be blunt, my day just sucked, from beginning to end.

Finally, when I was just about at my wit’s end in the newsroom, knowing I still had a long night ahead of me, I broke down and started playing my Matt Maher station on Pandora.

It was partly because I knew I’d be writing this column in a few minutes, and I was looking for inspiration, but I started to feel the music’s effects almost immediately.

I had been so flustered at the day’s events that I didn’t even realize how much I really needed to calm down, and take a moment for myself.

It’s really not surprising that Christian music does this for me. I’ve been listening to the stuff every Sunday since forever, and I’ve been actively singing and performing it around Erie for almost eight years.

The best part of my week, without a doubt, is going to band rehearsal every Wednesday night.

It’s the one chance I get to really calm down after Tuesday’s production night and take some time to experience God in the best way I know how. For me, Wednesdays are often more spiritually relaxing than any Mass I’ve ever been to.

I think it’s because I’ve found somewhere in my own faith that I’m completely comfortable. And that’s what we’re all really looking for in the end, right?

We want to belong, whether it’s in church or at school; at home or miles away.

I’ve been fortunate enough in my life so far to have found this sense of belonging in several places, but none have lasted as long as my church family.

Sometimes I swear I can feel my bandmates’ blood coursing through my veins, like we are actually related through more than our common religion and love for music.

I guess I should probably say that I am really related to one of them; he’s my dad.

But before I get too far off track, the point I’m trying to make here is that we can all find that sense of belonging through religion.

For me, it was about getting involved in my church. I probably wouldn’t still be going on Sundays if I hadn’t taken an active role in the Mass every week.

For others, alone time with God is the most powerful sense of belonging there is.

Whatever you think might work for you, I encourage you to try it. There are a thousand ways to get involved and really think about your religious choices – because it is a choice more than anything else – right here at Gannon University.

I’ve considered taking a break from my band more times than I can count, simply because I am so busy and involved at school. I don’t want to give anything up; and, as I’ve told myself, the band will always be waiting for me to come back.

But then I’ll show up on a Wednesday night and sing a song, play my flute or just chat with one of the other members, and I realize that leaving is not an option for me at this point.

My life is still centered around what I do at church, no matter how horribly the newspaper production went the day before or how many assignments I still have to do.

It may never come to that kind of extreme for most Gannon students, and I don’t even think it has to.

But maybe if you haven’t been to church in a while, go to Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel this weekend. Think about what would make the extra time worth it for you.

And find God right here, just like I did with my Christian music in the newsroom.

All you have to do is look.

 

KELLY MORELAND

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