College Kids and God


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 What comes to mind is a fledgling that can fly but still comes back to the nest, until the nest is obsolete and another home is fully established.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)

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3 thoughts on “College Kids and God

  1. I am not currently a college student but I am 23 yrs old and recently out of college and you are right the college scene is a very empty place when it comes to God. I actually made my transition from world-lover to God-lover when I was in college but it took quit a long time to get fully devoted to God because of all the temptations. And while I wasn’t involved in all of the things you have mentioned, I know people, close friends of mine, and even a sister of mine who have let their lives become dominated by those things. (My sister was put into a church run rehab 3 months ago and has done a complete turn around, she still has 9 months to go but He has done an amazing work in her.. Praise God!) But it is so sad that it has to come to that!!
    I know that I am still young but I feel a calling to reach out to college students because they are in the inbetween stage they are out of the youth group and feel uncomfortable with the adults usually and I know that at my church it’s pretty small we don’t really offer anything to those young adults. So me and a friend of mine have decided to start a bible study/young adult meeting twice a week on mondays. We’ll offer praise and worship and also study time and then we will have maybe some other activities to do. And maybe even every now and then just go and hang out, go have dinner or go bowling. But just to be there for each other to support each other and help one another grow and seek God earnestly. I don’t know if your son would be interested or even has the time to maybe start a group of his own. Maybe ask a friend to join him so that he has a partner in the endeavor. Then as their group grows maybe they could even start doing some outreach.
    I just thought that I would share that with you. Hope it is helpful. Thanks for the post. God Bless~!

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  2. Oh Becca, thanks so much for sharing your story! I’m tickled pink you found God in college–that tells me He is there, at work, even though.

    You’ve got a keen sense of discernment as to what college students are going through and what they need. The fact that you’ve been there recently has to be a huge advantage…also, your sister, I’m gonna start praying for your sister–may this year be a new start spiritually as well as in every other way. Go God!!

    Please do blog about how the Bible study goes, I’ll be interested to hear. I’m incredibly grateful you are moving in this direction. I’m praying for you, new blog friend and Sister, may God bless your New Year and bless others through you :)

    Thanks so much for commenting…you made my day!

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  3. Such a well-articulated post. I think you make so many good points… I remember God being present in my life during college, but it was only because of how hard I worked to include Him. I agree that the whole scene can make it pretty difficult to set good priorities. Which, now that I think about it, is probably a good lesson. It’s hard to imagine where I’d be right now if I had established a Christ-centered, spiritual-filled life back when I was 19… So many good choices I make now are because I made “eh” choices back then… As long as the “outside world” isn’t totally destructive (as it was in Becca’s sister’s, and my sister’s case) then I think it can be a good vehicle for consciously choosing a better path.

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