Two weeks from today is my graduation. It’s both exciting and yet sad. I’m excited to be done with readings assignments, papers, midterms, and especially having to schedule group meetings. I’m not going to miss that aspect of college at all. But I am going to miss this season of life.
It’s been a long one for sure; five years with the last 11 terms (that’s right, eleven) being consecutive (fall of ’08 straight through spring of ’11 with no summer vacations – I was taking classes). I’m a little burnt out, to say the least. But throughout it all I’ve learned and experienced a way of approaching God that has permeated the ritualistic spiritual life I led in high school.
At the essence of it, it’s a heart-to-heart encounter with God. But it is something more than prayer, more than worship, more than sacraments, more than fellowship, and more than studying Scripture; it’s engaging the Spirit of God with one’s heart, mind, and soul by way of immersion. It’s being brought beneath the surface. This is the kind of spiritual life I’ve grown to live and love, and yet it’s one I’ve been thrust into during college.
I’m just sad the season’s over, like I was in my last round of competitive golf. My college-Christian life has become so comfortable and enjoyable that I almost don’t want to approach God any other way. And this is what I must bury in the next couple of weeks – this dependency on the college-kid platform. Just like the four seasons of the year, you can’t live in one season of life forever.
Accepting that fact has been hard. I’ve often found myself contemplating signing up for a full load of classes this fall just to stay at U of O. It’d be stupid on many levels – not the least of which financial. But especially on the spiritual, neglecting the next stage of life would be like trying to repeat high school; it won’t be long before you look like a complete fool, let alone looking scared of responsibility. Regardless of what others might say, I don’t enjoy looking foolish and scared.
And yet, also like my final round of competitive golf, what came next proved to be even better and plunge me deeper into the heart of God. It is this fact that I must remember as I receive my college diploma; as this chapter ends, a new one begins. There’ll be different characters in different settings with different conflicts to overcome. To withhold the page from turning would be to deprive myself of the adventures I will have – the adventures that God will lead me through.
Jesus, as Hebrews 12:2 says, is the Author of our faith. His paper is our hearts and His pen is our passions. His stories are only written when we exercise our talents and skills in the rhythm of the King who’s leading us home. Any life lived apart from Him is no longer His story, but our own. And when this happens, only tragedies are produced. Desperately trying to remain in my favorite chapter only gives me the power to write my won demise. There is no hope in my life; only in the Life that Christ has given me.
It may not sound like it, but not being the main character in this story is a wonderful thing. It means the one main character throughout it all is the unwavering God and not the wavering descendents of Adam. So no matter how different this next chapter will be God will still be there. If I want any comfort, any peace, and tranquility of soul, I must reside in Him and let Him reside in me.