Armes challenges students to focus on today

PLAINVIEW – Students, faculty and staff of Wayland Baptist University gathered for convocation chapel Wednesday morning in Wayland’s Harral Memorial Auditorium. Wayland President Dr. Paul Armes offered his first-of-the-year address, challenging students to remember the past and think about the future, but to focus on today.

“What should we think about as a university family as we move through this year?” he asked.

Dr. Armes touched on major moments in Wayland’s history, including Dr. I.E. Gates’ charge as the first president of Wayland to grow a school that was little more than a dormitory and a hole in the ground when he took over. He mentioned the tough times during the great depression when the faculty and staff agreed to work for no pay if necessary in order to keep Wayland’s doors open, and the struggle in the 1980s to pull the university out of financial distress. While these were important moments in Wayland’s history, Dr. Armes said one shouldn’t focus too much on the past.

“The past is important, but it’s not wise to be captivated by it,” he said.

Dr. Armes then turned to the future and explained to the student body the goals of the upcoming capital campaign through which the school hopes to raise enough money to reconstruct the Flores bible building, adding a missions center, renovate Harral Auditorium, expand the fine arts facility, improve technology tools for the classrooms and build endowment through which more students will be able to attend school. He stressed the importance of the thinking about the future, but not to the point that one becomes overwhelmed by it.

Instead, he said, people should focus on the moment. Dr. Armes said each day is a gift from God and if one lives in the moment, “all the grace you need will be provided to you.” He challenged students to use each day wisely and to immerse themselves in their classes. But more importantly, “care for one another.”

“Be kind and Christlike in your concern and interest for others,” he said.

Dr. Armes challenged students to seek out new people and form new relationship, and to be open to the blessing that God has to offer, focusing on Christ in each facet of life.

“There are so many gifts God wants to give you during your time at this school. Use the gift of this day,” he said. “It is given to you from the hand of God. Live for Christ every minute of every day.”