Lots of kids are heading off to college for the first time, marking a huge transition in their lives. Christian statisticians tell us that something like 80% of kids who grew up in a Christian home leave the faith when they go off to college.
I have no idea if this is true, I’m skeptical of such numbers, but I know it happens frequently and it is a sad thing. There are, no doubt, many factors that cause young people to leave the faith, or at least the faith they grew up in, not least of which is the fact that college freshman are perhaps some of the dumbest smart people in the world. Also, not least of which is that many of the “faiths” college kids grew up in were wrong!
Our fears for their future scare us older folk. We’ve seen many a person ruin their life by a couple mistakes in college. The tendency is to lecture and drop spiritual sounding drivolities. Drivolities? Don’t know what it means, but I like it!
I remember when I left for college I got a number of cards from church people, most of which contained the following:
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Now, I certainly can’t argue with the verses, but I also know the intended meaning of this quote: “you’re an idiot, just listen to us and you’ll be fine.”
Sticking with God’s wisdom is a good idea. He knows more than you, no matter what time of life you are in. God knowing more than you is not the same thing as your home church fretting over your swerving from their traditions.
Here’s my advice to all college age people:
Go do stuff.
Do stuff you have never done before.
Go ahead, ask the girl out.
Learn stuff, just not the stuff you’re hearing in class cuz it’s all drivel, and or drivolities.
Don’t freak about grades: everything is vain.
Learn to do laundry correctly.
Read the Word and for the first time read it to get a clue as to what you believe.
Understand that you are indeed dumb. If you deny this point, you’re only proving the point.
You will get smarter and usually your wisdom will come by messing up.
Your mother loves you, make her life easy, don’t be a dork.
Get a job. Your college work experience will pay off more for you than whether you get an A or a B in any class.
Refuse to believe that staying up all night is helping your test-taking abilities.
Ignore everything I’m saying.
You’ll figure it out, as long as you don’t rely on what you already know. God knows more than you, this is a good thing. Don’t fear this fact, fear God. He is gracious, merciful, slow to anger and willing to forgive. There’s nothing you can do that can disqualify you for His grace, except being an arrogant, stubborn jerk because arrogant, stubborn jerks never ask for grace.
Proverbs 3:5,6 are true, but trusting in God’s wisdom does not always look like what everyone around you thinks it looks like. You’re on your own. Don’t rely on others. Learn to trust God and not people. Learn by doing, don’t be afraid of failure. Let your failure lead you to God who directs your path, not anyone else, including you.