Someone, Please Save Us, Us College Kids

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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.

Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

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.

Rewind Wednesday – Backpack Life

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Note: I think this is one of the first pieces I ever posted to JBG. Thought I’d share once again. – Bryan

Life is full of in-betweens, periods of time spent waiting, watching, and listening for the events that mark one transition to the next. We spend most of our lives in transit; out of our comfort zones, away from the stability that normalcy provides. I believe God uses these periods of change to remind us that there is a great need for Him.

Not knowing personal direction (job, relationship, etc.) keeps us, as humans, searching for solid ground. We find ourselves desiring black and white answers, all the while demanding that God illuminate our current life path. We are scared of the unknown; we find ourselves in need of our Creator.

In the transitory periods of life, the time spent living out of a backpack, we long for God the most. I know I do. The journey from childhood to adulthood is unmarked by any specific event. The world around might say having sex is the mark of an adult, while others might say voting in an election is. No specifics are given as to what qualifies as a transition, we live life without a hint book.

Perhaps one of the greatest errors society makes is the lack of specific transitory ceremonies. I can only imagine what such a ceremony would entail. A starry night comes to mind as a campfire burns in a forest. Communion with nature somehow mixed with pain. Pain always seems involved with transitions, whether they are physical or mental.

The notion that God is good becomes bedrock while searching because ultimately God is good. Stripped down of unneeded thought or theology, we can find ourselves resting on the firm foundation of God. Now I’ll be honest, God’s foundation is not always easy to find but is indeed there. I am not saying that God’s foundation moves but that there can be trouble areas in our lives that keep us from finding him. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I take comfort in God being good and Lord over all. During the times when you cannot fathom where life is leading, times which grip one in fear, remember the solid foundation that is Jesus Christ. Living out of a backpack isn’t all that bad when one knows that the journey has already been written and has an end. An end no movie sequel can hope to resurrect.