As nice as it is to have answers, I find that good questions make great gifts. A good questioner in my life once asked me, “What impact do you want to have on the people around you? What do you want for others?”
The question worked like a dipper in the well of my soul. I realized that more than anything else, I long for those around me to GROW.
With that insight, I began asking, “What types of situations stir students to grow closer to and more like Jesus?”
I noticed three types of situations common to college life that provide excellent raw material for spiritual growth: Ah-ha, Uh-huh, and Uh-oh Moments.
Yes, the lightbulb goes on. Something is said and heard that not only makes sense; it makes a difference. You recognize it as a word fitly spoken (which Proverbs 25:11 says are like “apples of gold in settings of silver.”) You tweet it to a friend or write it in a journal or simply remember it.
College life is rich in potential Ah-ha moments: class (especially!), chapel, worship and Bible study settings… and conversations over lunch or with roommates. These gifts are ours for the simple price of paying attention!
The students I see grow the most are those who have said “Yes” to serving and leading others. Service settings help you discover and develop what God has given you for His glory and people’s good. One of the things that is most true about you is that you are God’s “handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for [you] to do” (Ephesians 2:10). There are things that need doing that have your name on them, and they are not hard to find!
UMHB has multiple groups and events whose primary intention is service. Check out Spiritual Life/BSM on the UMHB website to find an opportunity.
There are eleven “breaks” in a typical 4-year college journey. Why not “tithe” those and invest at least one break in missions or ministry outside of your comfort zone?
College is full of crises, from lost keys to lost relationships, from tests in English to tests of character. Each crisis provides the opportunity to examine what we value and where we place our trust. Crises cause us to feel our need for God. The Lord hears the cry of the heart that simply says, “Lord, save me!” (Peter to Jesus, Matthew 14:30). Through crises, we come to know both ourselves and our God better.
The apostle Paul advised his friends to “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…” (Ephesians 5:15, 16a). The soil of college life is rich in what it takes for you to grow to be close to and more like Jesus. I want that for you more than anything! I pray you will seize these moments!UMHB Spiritual Life provides relationships, communities, ministries, and events that communicate and cultivate Christ likeness through service and leadership on and beyond the UMHB campus. For more information and opportunities to serve, we invite you to visit our website.
Latest posts by Dr. Shawn Shannon (see all)
- What Do You Wish You Could Know about Jesus? - April 12, 2017
- Making the Most of Every Opportunity:Ah-ha, Uh-huh, and Uh-oh Moments - June 20, 2016
- Making Decisions vs. Forming Habits - January 27, 2014