Dear Class of 2016 Seniors,
Way to go! You did it! Can you believe how slow the Fall went and how fast graduation came? You’ve just experienced a lot of lasts, your last class, your last final, your last practice, last time at your locker, last everything, well I wanted to write you a last thought to send you on your way…
Just so you know, the next few months are going to be a blur. Soak ‘em up! You’re probably feeling it now: there’s that huge desire to LEAVE and start college, but there’s also this pit in your stomach, the one that you felt when you started high school…only this one’s on steroids. It’s all happening so fast, the goodbyes and almost-hellos. Relax and breathe. Everything’s going to be fine.
There are a lot of changes coming your way as you begin college: Who are you going to be? What will your friends be like? What are you going to choose as your major? Will that major be the same one all four (five) years? Will you drink? Will you be faithful in your relationships? Is your roomie going to be nice/gross/tolerable/your best man or maid of honor? Will you join a fraternity/sorority? Will you ever darken the doors of the library?
And how about Church? Whether you’re going to City College, nearby State or University or somewhere away from home, there are fantastic churches nearby, waiting for you and the gifts you have to offer. Seek it out! And of course there are amazing people and experiences you’ll have that will help to answer some of the tough questions mentioned above. And believe me, you’ll need all the help you can get!
Some of you reading this were pretty involved in your faith through your school or your youth ministry; others of you, for whatever reason, might not have connected with the opportunities to live out your faith. Either way, I can’t tell you enough how important it is to be connected to others who love God and try to do His will during the college years.
Some of us had amazing examples and friends to rely on to challenge us in our faith; others of us had no one and had to go through some pretty rough times alone, feeling disconnected from God and everyone. Take it from me, “”A real friend sticks closer than a brother or sister.” (Proverbs 18:24). Take advantage of the invitations God gives to grow deeper in love with Him!
What’s the point of saying all this? What I’m trying to say is: we need you. We as a Church need your energy and enthusiasm, you’re smart and witty ways of connecting to your peers in ways they’ll understand. You have a tremendous opportunity to show people that you can live your faith and be “normal,” that praying and going to Church isn’t just a fad for blue-haired ladies. We need you. Don’t graduate from being involved in Church. We need your voice, your story, your prayers. Reallly!!!
The more you can help people experience Christ’s love for them now, the happier they’ll be in the long run, filled with peace, thankful for your friendship and example. This is to say nothing of the witness you give to those younger than you, still roughing it out in freshman biology, or those older than you, who are confused how someone like you would care so much about an ancient carpenter.
Show them as you pray before meals, as you stop by Church for a few quiet moments, as you read your Bible, as you make time for a Bible Study in the midst of a hectic schedule. Show them and be amazed how God will use you to change their lives for His glory!
So as you decide how to pack everything into the family car, as you do trial loads of laundry so you’ll be ready, and as you get ready for a life filled full of late night pizza runs, know that we’re praying for you.
Will college be hard at times? Yes. Will it be filled with a ton of wonderful people and memories? You betcha. In the midst of it all, if you continue to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, know that all these things will be given to you as well.” (Read Matthew 6). Seek God, above all else, embrace His will for your life and God will see you through. I can’t wait to hear about all your adventures when you come back in town!
Our Prayers and Best Wishes go with you!
Remember don’t just attend college, make a difference there!
PC (Pastor Chuck)
“So whether you eat or drink whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31