When We’re Old and Yet Still Have Teeth and Memory, What Do We Want to Say About Our College Years?
Grandchildren love to ask questions about our earlier days. Why did Grandma ever marry you? Have you always been this strange? Has that long hair always been growing out of your ear lobe? (They didn’t really ask these.) Why do your teeth come out? (They did.) A few years ago, we had a brief encounter with the daughter of an old college friend. One of her first questions was “What was my Dad like in college? Was he wild and crazy?” Now while we’re on campus and at it as a student is a good time to start working on our answer. Cia Matthew thought so and penned this beauty for Cornerstone Magazine, a Christian literary arts magazine done by undergrads at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design.
“When I’m 75 years old with crow’s feet wrinkles around my eyes and arthritis in my knees, I want to tell my grandchildren that I was rebellious and counter-cultural. That I believed in the impossible, and that I talked about a scandalous grace. That I welcomed death… And that I practiced the most unusual sexual behavior – chastity and abstinence.”
“Being a 21st-century, American, Christ-follower in your 20’s is not the norm. I stick out. When most of my peers are passing joints and making jokes about Moses, I’m at worship nights and leading Bible study. When I’m 75, I want to tell people that my choice to pursue Christ made me different. And I want that difference to be something that turns heads and makes my friends question me – because with that I can point them towards a God that can satisfy them more than any substances, romances and successes of this world.”
“When I’m 75 years old, I want to be positive that God used me. I want to have been used for his Kingdom, and I don’t want to regret missed opportunities. My young 20’s is an age where I have few commitments (no family, no pets), I have a three-month summer vacation, and I can still ask my parents for money. It’s the perfect age for traveling and exploration, and the options to serve God are endless. I want to be 75 and know that I didn’t set boundaries for how God could have used me. Instead, I allowed Him to take total control of my life, and I took the backseat with assurance I was in unfaltering hands.”
How do we want our answers to read? Not just for years from now when our grandchildren ask, but for right now when we’re walking through those days. We will spend these days so quickly. And Jesus Christ has so much to write in the wet concrete of these years that will last a lifetime and beyond.
Could there be Christian students spread across the Christian ministries on campus who could launch a theological journal even there at your secular university? A journal that could address the big questions, review media, offer cultural critique, explore theology, explore campus life and issues and put up a decent cartoon once in awhile – all from a serious, thoughtful Christian worldview. Take a look at The Augustine Collective. Not only Cia Mathew but others on many campuses have these up and running. And they will help anyone get started, providing what you need to know except for the party hats and butter mints. Take a look and pray about it.
Maybe you have a question about something you read here. I sure do. Maybe about the Christian life in general or something in particular is chewing on a vital organ. Feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No names have to be mentioned. I do reserved the right to ask clarifying questions to dignify your question with a good answer.
If you think this might encourage a college student or someone who loves them , then share, tweet, subscribe and all that social media stuff. If you already subscribe, then think about joining Geezer 1, the Facebook clubhouse for geezeronthequad.com. It’s a mix of students, student ministry leaders, professors, administrators, artists, writers, musicians, composers, booksellers, broadcasters, pastors business people, theologians, cultural thinkers and entrepreneurs, a few campus rats and a Goth who think that Jesus Christ thinks that the university is a special place. All in Geezer 1 get the latest post from geezeronthequad.com as well as good things from the rest of the gang. They’re a sharp bunch; you will only make us better.
Please return your seat to the upright position and give your infrared night vision goggles to the attendant as you leave. See you next post at geezeronthequad.com.