When I first came to Medaille (college in Buffalo NY) I was nervous and excited. I was as ready as I could be to face the world! After the first three days of fun, like riding in a dryer and watching movies with new friends, the “fun” of college was lost. My time was consumed by homework and studying and trying to keep my physical mind and body from exploding.
I’ll admit that I have been sheltered my whole life. So coming to college was a wake-up call. I immediately was labeled as the “religious girl” which is fine to me, as long as those saying it know that it’s a relationship with God, not a “be good to get to heaven religion”.
I was really excited to join the Christian group on campus called InterVarsity. However, the group is quite small, and many times we would just socialize. To me, the sessions were meaningless without prayer and digging into the Bible. I wanted to be encouraged by others who were facing the same temptations I was.
Finally, by the end of my first semester I gave up. I told God that I could face and avoid temptations on my own, and that I was just going to get through college to get my BS and be an LVT. I didn’t care if I had friends or made an impact. I wanted to be selfish, because that is the easiest road to take.
Of course God had other plans, and when I began my second semester He threw some awesome events my way. The very first meeting for IV one of our leaders, BT (Brian Tofflemire), shared from Jeremiah 29 verses 1-14. These verses talk about what God has planned for His people who are in exile. God reassures them that He will fulfill His promise. He has plans for them to “prosper and not harm, to give hope and a future”.
I have heard that verse so many times, but every time I was missing the big picture! In the verses before that, God tells them not to live in depression, but to embrace where they are, increase the population, plant gardens, and have fun! God wants them to have peace and to prosper WHERE THEY ARE. Yes, He is going to make their futures great, but why live in agony waiting for that to happen when you can live in the moment?
Why did I want to be selfish and stay in my little intellectual bubble for 4 years when I could make friends and lead people to Christ?
BT put a giant paper on the wall and made a chart of circumstances (categories) and the way that the exile would think versus the way a missionary would think.
To live in the moment, we need to think and act like missionaries. Believe that there is a purpose to where you currently are; ask God to open up your eyes so that you may see where He is working and wants to work; pray for those that are RIGHT THERE (on campus, church, small group, teachers, fellow students, dorm buildings, team members, etc); know what your mission/goal is; pray for something amazing to happen; and when you leave, don’t you want to look back and see your footprint?
I challenge you, as I am trying to do this myself, get on your knees and open your heart to God. Let Him use you. Get over that fear and selfishness that the Devil loves to put on our shoulders. God has amazing plans for us! But if we’re only thinking about ourselves, our future won’t matter when we get there.
Seek God in every moment. He’s always there, shining a light not only down the road, but a spotlight on you right now.
(PS: InterVarsity is amazing now, and I can’t wait to see how the Lord leads us on campus!)