A dozen nervous freshmen were milling around my backyard on yesterday’s Taco Tuesday evening–Day 2 of their university career, not fully oriented, and preoccupied with uncertainty and anticipation. We ate, talked, played with the dogs, speed-friended, and some students unintentionally ended up in the pool. It was a grand evening.
I had asked the students to share of of their hopes and fears with us with us, and then my friends Josh and Madelyn and I prayed for them. After the students left, I cleaned up the remaining water bottles and popsicle sticks with their words ringing in my ears: “I’m afraid I won’t get good grades.” “I’m afraid my life will lead someone astray.” “I’m afraid of Halstead outlines.” “I’m afraid I will just go through the motions.” “I hope I will make some really good Christian friends.” “I want to learn to love God more.” “I am looking forward to my Bible classes. . .learning how to write. . .chapel.”
We spoke of our God who superintends all, our God who tenderly grants courage to His “little-faithed” followers. We looked at the birds of the air and flowers of the field and were reminded that our Heavenly Father cares for these things, so will He not MUCH MORE care for you? Ahhhh! Yes, He will! What a great refreshment for the coming semester. . .year. . .life. Our God knows and sees and cares. And we can give thanks to Him because He is good.
There were other things I wanted to tell them, drawing from my own dozen years sitting in a higher ed. classroom. . .and my two decades of standing in front of those classrooms. So over the next days, I’ll be writing about five lessons I keep observing and learning in Higher Ed–wisdom, growth, purpose, community, and sleep.
Happy New Year, everybody!