Ben Cooper is a senior tuba performance major from Decatur, AL. He graduates from UA in May and intends to continue his education in pursuing his masters degree.

We’ve all had those moments that make us feel closer to Christ. Those moments where we look at every opportunity as an opportunity to share God’s message. Many of us may have felt this after a week at church camp, or after a great trip with a church group. I like to call these “Mountain Top Moments.” We also have moments where we are far away from God, whether it be because of troubles going on in our life or we are going through a change (like moving away from your family to come to college).

For me, my greatest mountain top moment was the weeks after I was told I needed to have open heart surgery. Something about being told you are going to have a major surgery really makes you want to be on your best behavior. Before knowing about my surgery, I wouldn’t consider myself a bad person. I went to church whenever I could, and I talked about God occasionally. However, once I knew my surgery was coming I was doing everything I could to be the best person, and Christian, I could be. Along with this, I also said many prayers and promises to God. I asked for him to get me through this surgery successfully and told him that once it was over I would live my life for him in any way I could. Then after everything was finished and I was on the road to recovery, everything just went back to normal. My mountain top moment was over, and I was back where I always was.

Going in to my junior year of college I realized that I was not staying true to my promise. I hadn’t made much of an effort to reach out to people or make a difference in people’s lives, so I decided to change. Going to the University of Alabama I am surrounded by so many kinds of people, and because of that I have many great opportunities to show God’s love. The thing that helped me make the biggest impact was Tide 4 Christ. I always had friends in the group, but I didn’t really talk to very many people. I wouldn’t go out of my way to go to any of the activities planned if it was at all inconvenient for me. Once I decided to go in with an attitude that wanted to make an impact, I was able to do many great things. Most recently I went on a mission trip to Costa Rica for 8 days and I never would have imagined myself doing that any time before. Along with great opportunities to serve, I realized I started having a lot more fun at other events once I started reaching out to different people and making as many friends as I could. Now I can say that I feel much better about the promises that I made during my “mountain top moment.”                

What point on the mountain are you right now? If you’re on the bottom, you can always start climbing up, and if you’ve been at the top and fell back a little bit, are you at least trying to stay above where you were when you started?