This makes me all kinds of happy.
During my junior college years, I listened to “College Kids”, by Relient K, on repeat:
Someone, please save us, us college kids!
What my parents told me is what I did
They said, “Go to school and be a college kid.”
But, in the end, I questioned why I did
I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I knew I wanted more than the part time restaurant job I was working. Surely there was more to life than general level college courses, commuting, and serving food/busing tables. Add on top of that friends moving away for school, girls/dating, and not being sure of who I was in the church (or the church having a clue of who I was)… this was a huge transitory time for me.
(Oh no!) Not for me, not for me
Call it torture, call it university
(No!) Arts and Crafts is all I need
I’ll take calligraphy and then I’ll make a fake degree
I am thankful for those that God stirred up and called into my life during that time. He is faithful. I just didn’t always see His faithfulness as I clearly do now in retrospect. Little did I know that He was preparing me for bigger things. Bigger things like:
- Moving away from all that I ever knew (family, friends, etc.).
- Texas. TEXAS. The shock of Southern/Bible Belt culture.
- My wife. I met her within a month of moving/going to school.
For those in this period of transition, the church (as a whole) does little to help with the confusion. Once students leave the comfort and safety of the youth group, they are launched into church oblivion. This oblivion is somewhere between graduating high school and marriage. The church, inadvertently, preaches that marriage is the pinnacle; once married, growing a family becomes the next prize to be won. But where does that leave those in college? Forgotten.
Eighty grand later, I found out that all that I had learned
Is that you should show up to take your finals and your mid-terms
The party scene is kind of mean; I think it’s sick and twisted
The Navy showed up at my door and claimed that I enlisted
Some churches see the need and build college, young professional, and singles ministries (all of these are totally different ministries that should not be paired together) to bridge the gap till marriage. I am thankful for churches who see this need.
College kids want to be recognized, listened to, and accepted in the church. They do not want to be treated as second-class citizens who serve as babysitters. Nor do they want to be treated as the “forgotten”, in-between singleness and marriage. We, as the Church, have to do more. We need to change the messages we are silently/subtly preaching through our actions. We also need to point to the stable foundation that is Scripture. College students are hungry for truth (scripture), faith that has depth, and delicious food. And maybe even a chance to come over, hang out, and wash their clothes.
We can do better. I’ve learned that Satan speaks into the silent places the church doesn’t. So let us speak and do.
Yesterday, as I was driving to the Post Office, I noticed a woman crossing the street holding a brown box. The box could have held items that needed to be shipped; the box could also have held all of her possessions from work. This woman could have just been fired.
This morning, as I was driving to work, I saw an older man crossing the street with a cane and a bottle of oxygen. A tube ran from the bottle into the man’s jacket. I’m guessing he needed the oxygen to breathe. Who was this man? Where had his shoes recently taken him?
We never fully know the experiences and events that have shaped those around us. The older man I witnessed this morning could have easily been a World War II veteran. He could have stormed the beaches of Normandy, watching those around him fall to the ground lifeless. He could have returned from the war, married, and raised a family that has since deserted him. The thing is, I have no clue who that man was nor will I ever.
My Grandpa Hall rarely talked about his time in the Navy. What I do know is that he was a radar man aboard the Battleship New Jersey, in the Korean Conflict. I remember him talking about being stationed high up in the ship. He also talked about how much the ship would move when firing a broadside. That was pretty much all he said about his time serving.
When my Grandpa Hall died a year ago, there were pictures at his funeral. One of the pictures showed him laying on a bunk in his ship (looked crowded). He told my Grandma, in a letter, that he had a picture of her and my Dad that he looked at every night. The picture of him on his bunk showed him reading his Bible.
Though I don’t know much about my Grandpa Hall’s time in the war, I do know that he got up early every morning to read his Bible. Even as dementia set in, later in his life, he would still get up and read his Bible the best he could. He had made a habit stick so much that even in his memory loss, reading the Bible daily was ingrained in him.
Strange how little we can know about family members. Some like to talk about their pasts while others prefer the past remain behind them. I’ll never know anything more about my Grandpa’s time in the Navy; I’ll never anything more about the woman I saw yesterday or the older man I saw today.