To Be Known
A few weeks ago, I was abruptly awakened by a knock on my front door around 2:00 in the morning. My apartment, located in the middle of student housing, is easily accessible to all students and as you probably know, college students have no indication of time. I opened my door, half asleep, to find a female student-athlete looking for a Band-Aid. A Band-Aid at 2:00 a.m.? Didn’t she know Wal-Mart was open?
As always, I welcomed her in while I searched the medicine cabinet. We began to catch up and talk while I bandaged her scraped knee. She told me about her roommates and their recent decisions and how she didn’t know how to help them make better, more fulfilling ones. We discussed how incredibly hard it is to be a college student right now. One of the most heart-wrenching things that puts pressure on college students is the idea that they have to fit a mold that society makes for them.
As a young woman in her 20s, I’m part of this tech-savvy generation that is defining everything about our society. We would rather text you than call you. We don’t remember our email password but will reply to your Facebook post within minutes. We don’t know how to use a map and we probably cannot tell you who our neighbors are. Still can’t identify us? Look around, we are the ones making weird faces at our phones (we call these selfies!)
We are a generation that bases everything off of the magazine in the grocery aisle and on our Pinterest page. We are obsessed with our happiness and ourselves. Yet, this same tech-savvy generation, which has potential to literally change the world and the way everyone sees it, has bought into the idea that money, popularity, sex, alcohol, beauty and the “perfect life” will satisfy everything within us.
I saw this in fellow students during my studies at a state university and I felt a need to do something about it. I thought to myself, “Somebody needs to tell these people that they are being fooled.” As residence life manager at Point University, I am blessed with the opportunity to cover up a bleeding knee at 2:00 a.m., but I will not cover up the lies that the world is telling her. I have an obligation to tell these college students the truth – that the things this world offers will never fully satisfy. I know that I cannot compete with the idea that they might satisfy for a minute. Who doesn’t want popularity or the feeling of being loved by a boy/girl, or a brand new sports car? But what happens if the people around us spend their entire lives going after these things? And even worse, what happens if they get them and suddenly realize they still don’t have the joy and hope they have longed for?
One of my favorite missionaries, Jim Elliot, said:
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
I hope that you are able to slow down and really think about what Christ did on the cross, and what that means for you and me. Jesus led by example, giving up everything He had in order to gain everything that He wanted: YOU.
Peter was crucified upside down, John the Baptist and James were beheaded and Stephen was stoned to death. Andrew was crucified and John was exiled. The gospel they believed was not one of health, wealth and prosperity. They didn’t come to Christ for the gifts He had to offer; they came to Christ to lay down the gifts they had because they simply wanted HIM.
When you get Christ, you will have everything you need. I, myself, have bought into some of what the world is selling, but I can say today that there is nothing more satisfying than Christ. And when you choose Christ, you can join in my satisfaction and say with Paul and me, “To live is Christ, but to die is gain.”
I want to encourage you to give up whatever it is that is holding you back from a life with Jesus. Give up whatever it is that the world has you focused on. Whatever is taking up all of your time, money, attention, affection, thoughts and fears, and choose Christ.
I’m thankful to have hope that Christ will fulfill and I’m thankful for Band-Aids and scraped knees.
Residence Life Coordinator