I’ve only been in Fayetteville for four days and I have already learned a lot of great things! I wanted to share two thoughts with you guys that are only loosely related, so bear with me.
On Sunday I had the opportunity to attend a church here in Fay with my family. I am so looking forward to this place becoming my “home” church while I am here. The worship atmosphere is so great, and from what little interaction I have had with the pastoral staff, they all seem very relatable and kind. The sermon this Sunday was about community, which was super helpful and comforting, given my previous thoughts on attempting to find community in college. I look forward to becoming a part of the community at this church! But, the thing that most stood out to me about this sermon was a metaphor that the pastor used for describing the aspects that represent community in the life of a christian, based on the text Acts 2: 42-47. While discussing this text, he used the following metaphor: “You know when you walk into a movie theater, and you’re not hungry at all, but then the moment you smell that popcorn smell you just have to buy some? And then once you get a taste, you are so thirsty that you buy a drink. Are you living like the popcorn smell as a Christian? Do you possess something that is so irresistible to others that they have to get a taste?” Are you living to be an example and a vessel for Christ so much that you stand out to others; so much that they want some of what you have? Not only was this super convicting, but it also got me really excited! College is a place that is less about the petty issues that we face in high school, and more about truly embracing who you are as a person. So, let this be an encouragement to you, if you struggled with being bold and fearless about sharing your faith in high school, then college is a new place where you can! You will be judged less for being an individual. College does not, and hopefully never will, force you to fit in with one particular popular crowd. Everyone will find their niche eventually. So, be courageous and share your faith freely!
The second thing that has been on my mind is integrity. A lot of things you hear from the mainstream tell you that “College is a place where you an totally reinvent yourself!” While this may be true to some degree (yes, fewer people will know you here, and it is unlikely that you will run into anyone from your high school), it is not always the best advice or the best option. I have been reading through the book of Daniel, which has a lot to say on the topic of integrity. No matter who Daniel served under as his earthly king, whether it was Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, or Darius, his character remained the same. He never wavered in his faith to his Heavenly Father, even under the threat of the lion’s den. So, remain true to your faith. As long as this is the core that your life revolves around, your life and your personality will be naturally you. Who you were in high school doesn’t really matter to the people at your college, so why do we feel the need to change? The awesome thing is, you don’t have to. We rely on an unchanging God (Hebrews 13:8), so if we are truly dependent on Him through this time of change, we have no need to alter our personalities.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”
Let us not forget that Paul was in a new place when he wrote this; he was in prison. If Paul can hold true to his faith and not let his new surroundings alter his personality, how much more should we be able to achieve such a thing in college?
I miss you guys, but I’m having so much fun out here! I’ll see you soon!