Try this experiment. First, think about something important you love to do. Whether it’s in your career, in your major, or in your free time, envision yourself doing something incredibly meaningful to you. (If you’re thinking of ministry, you’re the best, but you’re getting ahead of me — for the sake of the exercise, pick something else, you wonderful over-achiever.)
As laborers in the harvest field, we work and sweat, hoping for a positive result from what we plant. Then there are the many months of silence and stillness in the winter months in-between the sowing and reaping seasons. Psalm 130 speaks of the journey of waiting in those dark, cold months for God to come through with the light of spring.
How would you answer questions directed at you about understanding God’s will, human responsibility in light of God’s sovereignty, or the validity of other religions? Recently I attended the weekly discussion of one of the Graduate Christian Fellowship groups I oversee here in Washington, DC. This is a group of Christian graduate students that meets weekly for discussion, prayer and encouragement. In the spring semester, they decided to use a Christian book rather than the Bible for their weekly discussions.
Recently, I came across a photo of our house about the time we moved in. Except for a different color paint on the house, the house looked about the same. However, over those thirty years the lawn, bushes and trees had gone through significant changes. Any given year one would not see the change. Over thirty years the change is very obvious. In a similar vein, if I look back at any given year in the 46 years I have been involved in InterVarsity (four years as an IV student at Florida State, one year as volunteer staff in New England and 41 years in the Blue Ridge Region), I do not usually recognize significant changes in one particular year. However, over those 46 years there have been significant changes.
Remember Mad Libs? Here’s one for you: Millennials are so _____, and technology is making relationships so _____. Fill in the blanks, and you’ve got your lead for an Internet think piece. But in all seriousness, if you’re a college student today, you’re probably tired of seeing online articles with headlines like these and you’re trying to make your way in our technology-connected world in much the same way students always have. Sure, there are qualities of your generation that are distinct, but the differences are smaller than what so many cringe-worthy online articles would have us believe. If instead we focus on the similarities with generations past, we have an opportunity to learn from decades of InterVarsity ministry.
For many of us, summer is a welcome change of pace or environment. What is your summer situation? Home on semester break? Still on campus for summer semester as an undergrad or for ongoing research as a grad student? Studying abroad? Working a summer job? Any vacation plans? Summer can be a gift, but it also can present some temptations, like taking a little vacation from God.
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” - John 12:23-25
The beginning of our statement of faith affirms, “The only true God, the almighty Creator of all things, existing eternally in three persons (,) Father, Son and Holy Spirit (,) full of love and glory.” As a third-year InterVarsity campus staff, I am increasingly fascinated with how, despite our many differences as an organization, we have unity around the Trinity. Yet I’ve also noticed that people view the Trinity through different lenses.
Sometimes I walk while I pray to avoid getting antsy. On one of my prayer walks, God stopped me in front of a loquat tree in my neighborhood. Loquats are a yellowish pear-shaped fruit that taste like a mix of mangos, peaches, and citrus. Curiously, I’ve taken this path many times but had never stopped to notice this tree before.
The blog is an avenue for staff and student leaders to hear from the visionary leaders of Collegiate Ministries about theological formation, discipleship, chapter planting, chapter growth, and other key ministry themes for campus work.