Why Baby Steps are Better – Reflections from Homecoming 2014

Guest author: Alumnae Dr. Melissa “Missi” Khosla

Two of four days of IWU Homecoming have passed, I am overwhelmed …overcome. During this four-day flash of time, the foundation and history of IWU, the men and women on whose shoulders we now stand, visit campus, in person and in the telling. As a student, I knew that the buildings had names; as an alumnus, I now realize those buildings are the standing legacies of persons who were touched by an academic community, and who desired to give to the future students who will be touched by the community that is IWU.

Those of you who were present for the Scholarship luncheon will recall the telling of Rev. Killian’s journey to IWU – his story – we all have one. “How did you find IWU?” “What made you choose IWU?” …often the answer is: “I just knew.” “It was just right.” “I was led here.” On Wednesday afternoon, Reverend Killian stood before us and drew us into his story. Mr. Noggle, Mr. Shatford, Mr. Huffman… the men who influenced his coming. Mr. Baldwin, Mr. McConn, the men who influenced his staying, which led him to influence innumerable more. Reverend Killian, thank you for sharing your story.

On Thursday an intimate crowd gathered, awed by the IWU chorale led by Dr. Todd Guy – Dr. Guy – a man passionate about music and an expert in orchestrating the God-given talents of his students. On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Ott shared his experiences as God brought him through IWU – meeting here, marrying there, grieving over yonder…and then the scaffold: Mr. Philippe, Mr. Maxwell, and now the Ott legacy.

In a time when it is too easy to see only here, only now and ‘what if’ and ‘when’, we are reminded that the founders went before us, building the foundation of the house where we nowdwell. At Indiana Wesleyan, that foundation is made of a material that doesn’t wear, doesn’t erode, isn’t easily swayed – a foundation of Biblical principles and promises. IWU is what it is today because the founders built slowly, wisely, and purposefully – baby steps.

In discussion with a past mentor, I was able to compare the IWU of my time to the IWU of today: shorts in chapel, dress and media no longer regulated by the governing bodies, but by discernment, clubs and meetings that speak to issues never uttered in my time.

As a student, I remember thinking that the university would never move quickly enough to be relevant. It needed to change, and change fast. Fast is progress, right? Fast is successful. I graduated, married my IWU sweetheart, and moved away, ready to take on the world – quickly and gracefully.

But another theme during this Homecoming week is submission – the process of submitting oneself to the sovereignty of our Loving Lord to seek and walk the path down which He guides. Dr. Kellie Haworth reminded us that the path down which the Lord leads may not be the path initially envisioned. Those of us who have walked the path long enough to be able to look back are thankful that the journey is sometimes slow, which has allowed us to grow in wisdom and purpose as we follow our Lord. I now understand that IWU is the Christ-centered institution that it is today because the founders knew that to move slowly, and with the Lord’s guidance is wise, and will result in purpose.

Melissa Khosla, OTD, OTR/L
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Occupational Therapy
School of Health Sciences, Indiana Wesleyan University

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