Letter From Cameron Reed

What a ride this has been! I will always be grateful for the time I have spent at Tech (the
greatest college in the world). When I started at Tech in the fall of 2016, I had no idea what to
expect. I didn’t even have a relationship with God at the time, so I never could have predicted the journey that He has taken, and continues to take me on. First and foremost, during my time in college God has taught me that He is REAL. He is real in the sense that He does exist, and in the sense that He does not want a cleaned up, pressed and proper version of you. He wants the real version of you. The scrapes, the bruises, the imperfections. He wants ALL of it. Because through those sufferings and trials, the hardships and emotions, God’s glory is revealed. He loves us because of who we are, who He made us to be. His image bearers and His children.

God has taught me to take what I do seriously, but not take myself seriously. What I mean by that is having the ability to recognize the importance of the tasks that are set before me and work diligently on them without getting too upset or stressed out by the outcome or barriers
that come up. Yes the test I have coming up is important, or the interview, or the presentation,
but no matter what the result is, that does not change who I am. Pass or fail, job or no job, Jesus
still chooses me. And nothing can ever change that! When you look at the world through the lens of God’s love for you, other issues start to blur into the background. We still have things to do and obstacles to overcome, but when we focus on His love, those tasks don’t seem quite so
daunting anymore.

I will always be thankful for the people I’ve met and the time others have shared with me
during my time here in Cookeville. I have seen that God is working through the body at
Collegeside and the UCSC (A Collegeside Campus Ministry) first hand. I will never forget the
laughs shared, the tears cried, and the hallelujahs shouted over my time here.

I would like to share one piece of advice that I heard while I was in college, but did not
listen well to. It comes from my good friend and mentor, Andrew Jones. Now I’m paraphrasing
here, but the gist of it was “Don’t waste your time in college”. The years we spend at a university
give us a very unique opportunity to share the message of the good news of Jesus Christ. I cannot tell you how many times Andrew shared this with me, and I didn’t really fully understand it until I took a look back at my time here. I think I got part of it right, but missed the heart of the
message. I’ve seen my time here at Tech as an opportunity for personal growth (and rightly so in my book). So when Andrew told me to make the most of the time I had here, I just dove head
first into anything and everything UCSC was doing. But that was just what Andrew was telling
me not to do. Don’t get so invested in the ministry that you miss the people that you are
supposed to be ministering to! I’ve had three and half years now of classes with one group of
students in my major. I can probably count the number of people I’ve invited to MWP or any
other UCSC event on one hand. That should not be the case! To the students who still have time
here at Tech: do not waste it! Every day that you walk into a classroom, an opportunity sits in
front of you. Start a conversation, introduce yourself to the people you don’t know, invite them
in to something greater. So I’ll ask this question to those underclassmen reading/watching this:
What will you do with the time you have here?

-Cameron Reed



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