College’s #1 Goal
Many of our students went to a College class today for the first time. College is one of the most formative experiences that a student will have in his or her life. There are so many metrics that are used to determine success; grade point average, athletic performance, marketable degrees, leadership experience and certainly popularity by any means necessary. I’ve watched all of these things become idols in the lives of students who claimed Christ as their savior heading into College, until they found a functional savior in another pursuit.
I had a very different College experience because I went to a Bible College but the same influences and pressures were there, in the heart of Chicago. One of the first things a professor shared with me directly was what my primary goal should be in College. I expected to hear lots of things about achieving academically or getting involved in meaningful ministry and I was ready to achieve! But the professor simply challenged me to finish College closer in my relationship with Jesus than when I started. I figured that was going to happen by default but even at a Bible College I quickly realized our walk with Christ is never automatic and our flesh will constantly resist this growth and development.
I would love to make the same challenge for students this fall as they begin College classes. It’s hard sometimes in a High School ecosystem to feel like you have much to learn about anything but College opens our eyes to how much we haven’t seen and if Christ remains our focus then our paths will be aligned with His plans, not ours.
For those who are reading this and don’t know me, I’m not advocating lists of do’s and don’ts to accomplish a task but rather aiming your incapable heart at the capable Savior and begging Him for a deeper and more sustained love for Him. Out of this love and the Gospel we are shaped more and more into His image.
Statistically a College student determines his or her decision to stay connected to the faith of their youth within 36 hours on a college campus. While it’s popular to blame professors and drinking as reasons for students walking away from their faith the facts don’t bear that out. What I believe happens is other goals get in the way of the main one; glorifying God by growing closer to His son.
My encouragement would be to aim your whole life on the pursuit of God and make your primary College goal that one relationship. Consider your friendships, routines, aspirations and priorities; which ones does Jesus have Lordship in and which ones do you?
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
(Matthew 6:25-34 ESV)