BDU: The School Nobody Wants to Attend

Very rarely do I meet people who are ashamed of their alma mater. All the schools I attended shaped me and helped to make me the person I am today. If most people had their choice, however, they would not attend BDU. BDU doesn't print cool t-shirts, doesn't have a great football team, and doesn't even have a great mascot. Most of her alumni are a bit reticent to discuss the school, but the school has some amazing advantages: the tuition is free, the courses are fairly rigorous, and the alumni are an amazing crowd. Where is BDU?

Well, BDU is described in Exodus 3:1--"Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God." Here is this stately school, Back of the Desert University. To be perfectly honest, I didn't even know the desert had a "back," but indeed it does. BDU is a lonely place where humans meet with God; the course homework requires solitude and anonymity. No one actually knows that you're attending BDU; that seems to be its basic entrance fee.

In this school, God teaches lessons that can't be learned in the public square; they aren't taught in the bright lights of the big city, the lectures don't come from professionals with dazzling features and fat bank accounts, and the students don't get calls from Fortune 500 companies. Instead, these students spend their time in the quiet places, learning not theological hairsplitting but the ways of God (Ps. 103:7). They live alone before God, and when they foray into the public arena, they come with fresh oil from heaven and power in their message. Their clothing may be dated, but the fire in their hearts is hot, recently kindled at the very feet of the King. Elijah graduated from this place to confront King Ahab; Elisha's studies here taught him that he was surrounded by "horses and chariots of fire"; Daniel wasn't afraid of the lion's den because BDU had given him backbone for the journey.

David chased away lions and killed bears at BDU before he was called upon to slay a giant. John the Baptist thundered from this school to call Pharisees, soldiers, and tax collectors to repentance. Paul the apostle spent years in one of its classrooms in Arabia so that he could preach and teach in the power of God. BDU's most famous student spent 40 days without food in one class so that He could engage the enemy, but even before that He spent 30 years in the library of obscurity. When He burst on the scene in public, it was only a reflection of the lessons He had learnt (and taught) in these hallowed halls.

Has God sent you to BDU? Don't complain--He knows your name, He's given you this assignment, and He's got a plan. The lessons of these classrooms are His preparation for your true usefulness to Him. If you find yourself at BDU, don't quit; graduation day comes, and only God knows where He will put you next.