Going to a big conference is a lot like drinking from a fire hose. Firehose. Sounds like a good name for a leadership event in January… More on that later.
I’m at Collegiate Week in Glorieta and the weather is AMAZING! If you’re stuck in Joplin, I want to weep for you, but I’m too busy rejoicing in my absence. Sorry. Anyway, the worship here has been great, which is a huge compliment from the guy who usually skips the music portion of these things. Aaron Ivey does a wonderful job of focusing the crowd on Jesus and seems at times to just lose himself in worship at the same time. Kind of reminds me of Tenth Avenue North.
Ben Stuart, however, has captured my full attention with his messages, a couple of which I’ll try to summarize quickly here. Internet is shaky at best and frankly, iPads weren’t meant for long blog entries. 😉 So…
As a college student, you have never been more fully engaged in the world than you are right now. Intellectually, culturally, socially and personally you are like a ninja warrior compared to your high school self. Busy with new life skills like… laundry. Connecting and networking with EVERYONE. Experiencing more music, movies and games than ever before, and occasionally squeezing in a deep thought… once in awhile. The result of all that involvement and engagement though is a level of business almost unprecedented. And in the middle of it all, many of you are incredibly frustrated.
Because the truth is that for a lot of you all that activity is really just a giant effort to dodge an inconvenient truth, the truth that deep down you live in fear. And there are all kinds of fear out there, but the big one is disappointment. You’ve been taught all along that you’re supposed to be an amazing person, but you know the truth. You know that deep down, you are broken, but rather than deal with that, you practice avoidance like its an Olympic event. You fill your time with anything and everything (including church and ‘Jesus stuff’) that will keep you from having to sit alone with God and just engage Him.
You say all the right things, fit in wonderfully with the culture around you both in the church and on campus, and know in your head that God is loving and faithful and all kinds of goodness as your Heavenly Father, but in your heart, the process is different. In your heart lives the fear that God knows who you REALLY are behind the facade, and He’s disappointed in you. He thinks you are a failure…
That mentality is a sin, and it needs to be confessed. The truth is that God knew you before you were born, and Jesus went to the cross anyway. You are His great joy, and college may be the best place in the world to learn how to engage Him like the Dad He is.
College is a great place to pursue so many things, don’t miss engaging the one thing God put you there for, Him. Your whole purpose is to connect with God, don’t get distracted by the rest of it.