Edited by Emily Grooms
CLEVELAND, Ga., (TMNews) –After suffering a severe concussion during an intramural flag football game, Truett-McConnell senior, Danny Rice, shares how God used the uncertainties that came with his injury to draw him closer to God.
The following is a Q&A interview TMNews conducted with Danny.
The TMC Life
Q: What has Truett-McConnell meant to you over the time you’ve spent as a student here?>
A: Truett-McConnell, not to sound cliché, has been home away from home and basically a second family to me. God truly blessed me by allowing me to follow Him and study here at TMC to further pursue what He has called me to do. I have been extremely blessed by the friends that I have gotten to know at TMC and the lessons I have learned here, whether they have been academic, social, or spiritual, are lessons I hope to apply for the rest of my life.
Q: Is there someone on campus (a teacher, staff member, coach, friend,) who has made a great impact on your life? If so, can you tell me about them?
A: If I may, I would like to mention two people that have had a tremendous impact on me during my time at TMC. The first person I’d like to mention is Meagan Taylor. Meagan is the closest friend I have here at TMC. We do have a lot in common in that we both enjoy watching the Atlanta Braves (along with other sports), watching and quoting movies and playing the drums; but even more so, Meagan has encouraged me and was there for me when I needed a friend. She’s demonstrated how to pursue excellence in everything one does, to glorify God, and humility on a consistent basis.
The second person I would like to talk about is Dr. Brad Reynolds. I really enjoyed his Theology II class because he emphasized the necessity of Scripture when doing proper theology; also the passion he has for the subject really spoke to me as well. Along with being a great professor in the classroom, Dr. Reynolds was really helpful and understanding during a difficult and frustrating time in my junior year here at TMC. I also thought it was awesome that he was always willing to try and make time to meet and talk if I ever had a question or problem that I wanted to talk to him about. Plus I also look up to Dr. Reynolds in how he cares for his family and the church that he pastors. For these reasons, these two people have had huge impacts on my life. Thank you so much Meagan and Dr. Reynolds!
Q: Was there ever a time where you wanted to call it quits? If so, what made you stick it out?
A: Yes. In the fall semester of my junior year I got a concussion while playing intramural flag football. This concussion was one of the many I received, dating back to my sophomore year of high school. After this concussion, I lost some of my memory, primarily the previous two years of my life. All I could really remember of TMC at the time were things that occurred my freshman year. The weeks that followed were very frustrating and difficult because I could not recall what I learned in previous classes; but the most frustrating part was that I could not remember some of the friends I made over the past two years. Each time someone would come up to me to see how I was doing (which I was and still am grateful for) I would try my absolute best to place who they were but I couldn’t and it became a huge frustration. During that time I found my quiet time journal and saw that I was studying the book of James in the days leading up to my concussion. When I saw that, it was as if God was saying to me that even though this situation took me by surprise, it did not catch Him by surprise and that I can have joy because in my weakness He can show His strength. It was very uplifting to have friends praying and encouraging me. It also meant a lot that even in the meetings I had with Dr. Reynolds; he took time to pray for me and my family before we even started talking about academics. Dr. Reynolds and my professors were very understanding and helpful in trying to figure out what would be the best option for me in my schoolwork.
Q: How have the classes at Truett-McConnell helped to shape your world view?
A: Probably one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned at TMC is the importance of God’s Word in the life of a Christian. A believer needs God’s Word each day for their personal relationship with God. It is crucial to know Scripture when one is trying to engage with current topics, whether the topics are social, political, or theological.
Q: Did you ever go on a mission’s trip with TMC? If so, what was special about it?
A: I have been blessed to be a part of three mission trips with TMC. I went to Pittsburgh, Pa. in the fall of 2012, Haiti in the spring in the 2013, and I was part of the capstone mission trip to Hungary and Thailand this past summer. Probably one of the most encouraging things about all of these mission trips was the fact that even though two of these were considered classes, sharing the Gospel always took priority over whatever we had planned that day in the classroom. Along with that, it was cool to see the various ways in which missionaries and church planters work within their contexts to reach the people in that culture whether it was Pittsburgh, Nagykanizsa, or Hungary.
Q: Looking back over your time at TMC, what’s one of the most fun things you ever did (with your friends or on a school sponsored trip)?
A: Probably the coolest thing I have gotten to do during a TMC trip was one day during the capstone mission trip I got to ride on an elephant and later that day I got to pet baby tigers. Yeah, that was a pretty cool day.
A Look Back
Q: Which dorm or apartment is your favorite and why?
A: Garrison is probably my favorite because it had a good Resident Life staff when I lived there and it had a fantastic ping pong table.
Q: What is the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you during a TMC class?
A: I don’t really have one thing that absolutely stands out. Probably the most embarrassing thing personally is how after my concussion all of the awkward stares and eye-contact I had with people. They were probably wondering, “Does he remember me?” or “Why is he staring at me?” while I wondered, “Do I know this person because I don’t know why they are staring at me.”
Q: What are your ‘hopeful’ plans after graduation?
A: Eventually I would love to be on the foreign mission field because I do believe that is where God is calling me. As of now, I am still praying about where that could be along with what to do immediately after graduation.
Q: Is there a favorite meal in the Truett-McConnell Dining Hall (aka, ‘the Caf.’) that you are going to miss?
A: I must say that I am a huge fan when the ‘Caf’ serves curly fries with melted cheese and when they serve cheese sticks. Also I must confess that on numerous occasions, I have in fact made both the curly fries with cheese and the cheese sticks meals in and of themselves, but I do recognize that those are typically not considered “meals”. So if there is a favorite “meal” from the ‘Caf’ that I will miss the most, it would be those cheese sticks or the curly fries with melted cheese.
Q: If you could have any career, regardless of degree, money, etc., what would you be and why?
A: Honestly I would love to serve on the foreign mission field. It is awesome to see how God changes lives in different cultures and awesome to see brothers and sisters in Christ worship their Savior in their own culture. Some of the most intimate times I have had with God have been overseas whether it be a time of worship where multiple languages are being sung but all to the same God, or seeing how God can even use me to share the Gospel and see the person’s face when it “clicks” and he or she wants to put their faith in Christ.
Q: What are you going to miss most about being a student at TMC?
A: What I will probably miss the most will be the fact that at TMC I was surrounded by professors and faculty that were very knowledgeable and wise and were always willing to help me and answer my questions.
Q: What are you going to miss least?
A: I would say I would miss walking up the hill from Cleveland Courts the least. And probably a close second would be those times when parking was very hard to find.
Q: What is the best advice you could give a freshman?
A: I guess the one thing that I wished had I picked up on as a freshman would be the way that I viewed my studies. Do not view your classes as requirements to receive your degree, because then you will be tempted to do the least amount of work to receive a passing grade. However, if you view your classes as tools that are equipping you in your obedience to God’s call on your life, then I believe that will put a desire in your heart to do your absolute best in all of your classes.
Q: What is the best advice you would give someone who is considering TMC for college?
A: First I would always encourage you to pray. Choosing where to go to college is in fact a big decision and should be made after prayerful consideration. Then I would say that if you are serious about serving God and wanting to obey His call on your life, whether it be nursing, teaching, serving in ministry, or working in the business world, etc… then I would greatly recommend TMC because TMC is serious about equipping you to be the best nurse, teacher, minister/pastor, or business person in your field along with equipping you to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ within the field to which God has called you to.
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