Chapel is a gift and privilege for students on the Indiana Wesleyan campus, but most of us do not realize this. We choose to occupy ourselves with anything other than what the speaker is saying. I remember on multiple occasions looking around the chapel during the sermon, and seeing multiple people on their phones, studying for another class or even sleeping. I ashamedly admit that I am guilty of such actions as well. When I look around and see others doing the same, I feel embarrassed and dirty inside because I am disrespecting my Lord. Unfortunately, some of us are okay with doing this. We are blessed with the opportunity to have chapel, let alone three times a week. Others around the world die to hear the gospel, or are never even exposed to it. Because we are blessed with the opportunity to attend chapel, we should use this time to engage in the service and honor our God.
Some of us do not agree with the chapel schedule, so we use it as an excuse to disengage during the service. Chapel meets three times a week for 45-minute services. While it would be nice for chapel to only be once or twice a week, it is only 45 minutes and does not take up much of our time. We all came to Indiana Wesleyan understanding that chapel is mandatory three times a week. Because we understand this, we must know how to manage our time so that we are not falling asleep during the sermon or cramming to finish homework.
Our lack of respect for God is shown when we appear to have no interest in a sermon about him and about our relationship with him. We should strive to grow closer to God. This could include putting the phone or homework away or getting some extra hours of sleep the night before. Using cell phones, doing homework or sleeping during chapel is rude and disrespectful to the speaker and to those around us, including God himself. God desires to know us, so we should also desire to know Him better.
Chapel is a privilege that many of us take for granted. Chapel is a privilege because it teaches us more about God and the gospel. Multiple countries in the world do not even have access to a Bible, let alone a service they can go to. Other countries have the access of the Bible, but are persecuted and killed because of their dedication to meet and learn about our God. While this is going on, we go through each chapel service not caring much about it. This could be why we don’t pay attention. I still cannot comprehend why we are so selfish as to not give God our attention when He asks. We give our attention to a little phone screen, while people on the other side of the world are dying for their faith. It is sickening. This should be motivation enough for us to give God, and the speakers, our undivided attention so we can grow in our relationship with the savior of our souls.
I pray that as we go through the rest of the school year at Indiana Wesleyan University, we would be mindful of how we are acting during chapel and if we are giving God the proper respect He deserves. He does not ask much of us if you think about it. He died for us. The least we can do is pay attention for 45 minutes every other day of the week. I promise to devote my chapel time to God and hear what he has to say to me. I pray that each of you will do the same. Just put your phone on silent and in your bag, put your homework away, get more sleep the night before and give God the attention and respect He desires and deserves.
-Alyssa Belkofer (fr)