Live Now: Make College Count
So lovelies, it’s that time of year again. The time when Christmas decorations are put back in storage, the holiday parties are over, and the long days of winter have just begun; when you start ordering your textbooks, sharpening pencils, and wishing the semester ahead was already over.
No matter what point of my college career I find myself at, I never feel excited or completely ready for whatever lies ahead. I just dread the assignments, the commute, and having to step out of my comfort zone to build relationships with complete strangers (a terrifying proposition for an introvert like me). Nothing about college is comfortable – it’s all challenges. Which is technically a good thing. But up till this point, I have not looked at it as a good thing.
All my life, I have had this false idea that each season I find myself in is just a holding period before real life – as though real life starts only after I graduate college, or when I finally get a ‘real’ job, etc. But that’s such a lie, and one that is robbing me of the gift of this present life God has given to me at this moment.
Do you find yourself in the same predicament? If so, I’d love to encourage you to step with me out of these patterns of the past. Because the thing is, real life is RIGHT NOW. Whatever season you find yourself in, even if it’s a waiting season, it is REAL LIFE. THIS is it.
Darling, each season is a part of the year – there is no such thing as a season that somehow takes place in a holding cell outside of time, as though life stops and starts at odd, discontinuous intervals.
Life is the whole, continuous stream of a million different seasons, mountains and valleys. And we know this. Yet, we have been cheated out of some of the best times of our lives because we’ve been deceived into believing that we can’t start really living until sometime in the future.
But, if you’re always waiting for the future to start living, then you’re going to be waiting to live for the rest of your life; because the future will always be just that – the future. And you never get to live in the future. You only get to live right now.
How many times have you made statements like the following?
“When I finish college, I’ll finally be able to start making a difference in the world and doing what I love.”
“When I make more money, then I can give to the needy.”
“When I save up enough money, then I’ll go on an adventure.”
The thing is, if we’re always waiting for other conditions to be met, we’re going to find ourselves at the end of our lives having always succumbed to the bullying of excuses.
And this life? It’s about the journey.
And journeys always have to do with people & places & events & change & growth & character development. Sometimes it’s exciting, other times it’s sad, but always it is an adventure.
This semester, I’m endeavoring to change my perspective. I’ve realized that I have a grand total of two semesters left before my undergraduate college life is OVER.
And for the first time, I’m feeling the finality of this ticking countdown.
This season of my life is almost over. And I don’t want to waste the precious, short moments that are left.
I know you’re probably ready to be done with college. I can’t wait to be done either. But all of a sudden, it doesn’t seem so urgent anymore.
In fact, it’s starting to seem more urgent to slow down and make whatever difference I can make NOW with my fellow classmates and professors.
As this new semester kicks off, I dare you to approach it differently than you’ve approached any other semester before. Don’t look at it as merely a jumble of stress, papers, readings, exams, and inconvenient group projects. Instead, make your perspective on this season an eternal one. All those classmates you sit by for the next 18 weeks? They are eternal souls who are either going to heaven or hell. And as a follower of Christ, you have divine orders to go and preach the Gospel. This is a way of life commanded for ALL believers.
Don’t give in to the rationalizations that would keep you silent from speaking the truth about Jesus Christ & what He’s done for us – our conduct is certainly part of our testimony, but it is not the entirety of it.
Our words are just as important as our actions. And if we never make space for Jesus in our conversations with our fellow students, then we are keeping our lights to ourselves. That is not what light is meant for. A candle is not lit for its own pleasure. It is lit so that it can shine into the lives of the people around it.
So I challenge you this semester: look at this portion of your life-journey as a gift given to you especially from your Father in heaven. He has you here for a reason. Don’t be afraid to let your light shine.
Be intentional about it. Build relationships with fellow students, participate in class discussions, use group projects as avenues through which to reach out to students you might otherwise have never had the chance to meet, use class presentations as opportunities to share the truth, Christ and His beauty. Be a light. Radiate His love, goodness, and compassion in this cold, dark, cruel world that is desperate for love.
Chances are, you’ll never see these people again. So make good use of this time. Go out of your way if He leads you to. This moment won’t come again, and you never know what the impact of your words will be on that person’s life later down the road, or perhaps on the lives of other people through that one person you touched & spoke truth to.
Scatter seed. Oh, and one more thing: don’t judge who you think would be receptive to the Gospel, or who you think might need it most. Just scatter seed everywhere and don’t worry about what ground it falls on. ‘cause you don’t know which is good ground and which is not. That’s not up to you or me. Our job is just to scatter the seed of the Word of God.
If you pray for & look for opportunities to share the Gospel, He will make the way.
THIS matters. THIS is part of the adventure-story of your life. Go live it.