Picture by Thomas via Creative Commons
My senior year of college felt like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube. No mater which way I turned it, I couldn’t quite find the answer.
Below is a real conversation I’ve had with a college senior as we’ve talked about that Rubik’s Cube — about the different colors and questions of faith, anticipation, leaving college, and fear of the unknowns.
THE COLLEGE SENIOR
College is an interesting place. The social pressures here are crazy. Every social action is under a microscope, or so it seems.
I have wonderful, amazingly beautiful, and fun roommates. I have lovely classes. I am blessed to be numbered in the top 5 % of the worlds population. The Lord has given me life, hope, talent, and creativity. He has given me Love.
And yet, sometimes things are not so simple. I just feel like I have a million questions, fears, and doubts.
Where will I go after this place? I’ve been preparing my whole life for something, without any idea what that something actually is. I will enter into a world of unknowns and that scares me. This doesn’t seem to be a test that I can cram for.
And most of all, I have been feeling lonely. Maybe that is what the Lord wants of me right now, to sit in the rhythm of loneliness. He, after all, probably has felt more lonely than any of us ever could.
Things are good. and weird. and life, is just that.
Thanks for listening as I sort this out.
As I neared the collegiate finish line years ago, I also began seriously wrestling with those HUGE doubts, fears, and questions of faith, of meaning, of where am I going, of where is God and how is he involved in my life?
And first let me say that after graduation these questions don’t vanish — sorry to say. There’s quite a bit they won’t tell you at graduation. Your diploma won’t make these doubts disappear like the rabbit in the magician’s hat. No the rabbit will keep growing, eating your food and taking up half the bed as it becomes more of a presence in your house every day.
While these questions aren’t easy, they are GOOD. I promise. Because there’s something of strange importance that takes place in us when we are stripped of all the things that used to keep us company.
God will meet you in this place of difficult questioning. God is not your Aunt Edna, blushing and changing the subject when the conversation turns the slightest bit uncomfortable. He’s not as easily offended as we make him out to be.
So ask away, but only if you’re willing to actually listen. For years, I yelled question after question at God while sticking fingers in my ears. That’s not asking questions. That’s throwing tantrums.
THE VOID OF LONELINESS
This place of questioning can and will be a very lonely place. But don’t allow loneliness to become isolation. Don’t pull your head inside your shell thinking only you can protect yourself. That’s a mistake I made for far too long.
No, invite a friend or two over for dinner.
Talk, laugh once or twice – even if it’s forced at first.
And before the meal is served you might just notice they’re chewing on the same questions you are. And at that moment of honest conversation you will see light in the dark and dusty corners. Yes some will offer advice that is trite and cliche, but in this place of questioning there is nothing more freeing than to know that you’re not alone. Now more than ever, we still need a little help from our friends.
So here you are in this time of certain uncertainty, a season ripe with delicious ambiguity. As the water rushes over your head and you cry out to God to save you from drowning.
I promise that in the end you will find a better way to breathe.