Our college sophomore, Charlie (pictured above), is home this week. Monday he heads back to Boston University for second semester. We relish this time with him…it all feels so fleeting. Once he walked these halls 24/7, now we see him once in a great while. It is as it should be, I know. Children grow up, move away and make home elsewhere. The ‘home’ of their childhood becomes more like home-base, a place to land, a place to spring from, but not really a place where they live anymore. What comes to mind is a fledgling that can fly but still comes back to the nest, until the nest is obsolete and another home is fully established.
Watching a child maneuver adulthood is a new experience for me, a new stage of parenting, I guess. Flung into the immoral/God is dead abyss that college life has become, I do wonder how he manages to find equilibrium. I wonder if God can be heard in such an environment. I wonder if Light and Truth are ever glimpsed. Resistance to God is the norm among our young adults. Many of us expect it, assume it a stage, look the other way…our college-aged ‘kids’ are shrugged off as temporary trash until they come around and grow up. In the mean time, college students are forming major regrets, addictions and unhealthy relationships. They’re self medicating self-induced psychic pain through drugs, alcohol, sex, self-mutilation, eating disorders and God knows what else. In the name of “fun”, darkness finds footholds and shows up as depression, suicide, anger, despair, bitterness, confusion, chaos, and large quantities of denial. Adult America sits on the sidelines and looks the other way (in fact increasing numbers of us adults never grow up, never clean up our act. Regrets are justified into a new “normal”, immorality is freedom run amuck and we feed it to our children). Only a few churches/ministries (bless them) reach out to campuses in their areas. Only a few adults see and reach toward college students with prayer, faith inducing encouragement, a listening ear and sound advice.
As Charlie takes ownership for his own decisions and pathway into tomorrow, I pray for God to speak and lead, in whatever way/through whatever person is at His disposal. I pray Charlie’s heart is open to hearing, receiving and obeying. I pray that God chases him down if/when he gets off track. I pray that the Prince of Peace extends His scepter and grants inner peace, even as outer chaos swirls about. I beg that a channel for the Holy Spirit to move through is established…a channel that allows God to speak and act through Charlie–such a channel not only brings glory to God but it makes the one through whom it comes fully alive.
Fully alive college students would really rattle a campus. God getting a hearing through one of His own would dispel scads of darkness and bring hope.
Adults: can we take a step toward a youth/young adult in our sphere? Can we turn to see them and let them know we see? Can we pray for them, really pray for them? Maybe as we do God will find an open door in the hearts of our college kids, maybe even an open door on our campuses…dare we hope? God is BIG! Dare to hope…
(for those of you hoping to catch the video of Charlie singing: I cannot post it here..sorry. For facebook friends: you can view it on my videos page, found on my facebook profile page)