Today marked the second day of my Christian Formations class and I loved it. Since I’ve made the decision to change my major to Theology, I’ve felt very at peace with my college career. Though I do not know what is in store for the next quarter, things continue to fall into place and I definitely feel like this is where I am supposed to be, in Seattle learning about God.
That certainly puts it in simpler terms, but that’s how I choose to think about this experience. I’d never really thought of college as a way to fall more in love with God, but I’ve realized it’s just that. All of my experiences so far have been pushing me toward this moment, me realizing that college is not just about gaining a higher education so I can get a good job, contribute to society, and start a family. It’s given me a larger sense of purpose and caused me to look at what seem like ordinary things and see glimpses of God’s kingdom. I see this is the smallest moments, in the long conversations about nothing that quickly transform into everything, in the way the professors profess their beliefs and invite their students to think and think deeply.
I recently read a chapter in a book called Holiness as a Liberal Art. I had to read it for my Christian Formation class; the chapter was about how liberal arts imply the question of should we instead of can we. It was interesting the note that every education has a moral framework, whether intentional or unintentional, that it teaches those being educated. With the liberal arts college I am attending, I have the opportunity to ask “why” I believe what I believe within that moral framework. My senior year of high school, I think, was an introduction to that. I was given a few tools to begin that journey of Christ-like Maturity, as my professor calls it. And now, I’m given the opportunity to use those tools and find myself as a Christian and connect with other Christians in the same boat.
Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord God am holy. (the Lord to Moses in Leviticus 19:2, ESV)
Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’ (Matthew 16:24, ESV)
I hadn’t thought about college as a journey to holiness, but now I’m choosing to make that my goal. I want to become more Christ-like as I learn. I want to be holy. I had always thought of holiness as something unachievable, due to my sin nature. But that’s giving up before I even try. Christ calls us to be holy as our Lord God is holy. Living a Christian life is to lead a holy life. So that’s my new goal this quarter and for the rest of my four years here at SPU. I might change my major again as God reveals in me new passions and skills and loves I didn’t know I had. I mean, I didn’t know I loved writing for the first fifteen years of my life. The point is, the more I strive to be holy and blameless before the Lord, the more He can reveal about me and my story in His grand mega-story. (But for right now, I’m pretty set on majoring in Theology and minoring in Creative Writing)
These past couple days, I have been challenged to ask myself a few questions that I am personally still thinking about and I encourage whoever is reading this to think about them too. They are allowing me to approach my study of God and religion carefully. Michael Novak said, “To enter religious studies carefully is to become conscious of one’s story.” I love that and that’s what I’m trying to do. The questions are: Are you a spiritual being? What kind of life do your want to lead? What do you do with what you have been given? For what/whom do you live? What can I change in my life to reach Christ-like Maturity?
Anyway, that’s what I learned today. :) Oh, and my professor’s rule for if I am ever late because of coffee: There better be two in my hands and he likes non-fat hazelnut lattés. I wrote that down immediately, because I will undoubtedly be late because of coffee at least once or twice.