Rewind. Pause. Push Play. “You blink, and it’s over…”
Can you believe it? The year’s over! It doesn’t seem possible. Wasn’t it just September, like, two months ago? And that blizzard in February, yeah, that was last week, right? Wrong. It’s May, and the 2010-2011 school year is done. Well, almost. Some of you still have finals. But, for all intents and purposes, freshmen, you’re now sophomores; sophomores, you’re now juniors; juniors, you’re now seniors (yikes! – that’s me!!); and seniors, you’re no longer college students. I don’t know about you, but I just may need a moment to process that…
Normally, this is where I would provide I recap of the Thursday night worship service, but this last Thursday was different, so this post is a little different – think of it as more of a letter from me to you.
Being as it was the last Axiom service of the year, many of our seniors were given the opportunity to share about what Axiom has meant to them over the last few years, and where they are headed after they leave beautiful yet oh-so-rainy Chambana in a few days. If you’re interested in what these wonderful individuals had to say, you can check out their Senior Spotlights here on the blog! (Even if you were there on Thursday night, you may still want to look through the entries because not everyone who’s leaving spoke; I think we’re saying goodbye to thirteen people altogether this semester, most of whom are graduating, some of whom have already graduated, and at least one of whom is transferring elsewhere.)
Rewind: (May 5, 2011) In addition to being sentimental about Axiom, and expressing a combination of anxiety and excitement about their futures, many of the seniors who shared on Thursday night also took the time to pose a challenge to those of us who will be returning next year. Here are a few of the overall trends…
- Get Plugged In: No matter who you are, or how long you’ve been involved in Axiom, or even how long you’ve been following Jesus, you have God-given talents, and you should be using them! Take the time to figure out what you’re passionate about, and then start talking to people – see if there’s a way (and there probably is) for you to use that talent to bring glory to God’s kingdom here on earth. Whether you love serving, playing music, baking cookies, making websites, organizing social events, writing, or just talking to people, there are ways to make that skill count… check out our website or email us and we’ll make sure you find somewhere to get plugged in to our ministry.
- Invest Deeply: Four years may sound like a long time, but take five seconds to talk to any senior on campus, and chances are they’ll tell you IT’S NOT. Some of the only regrets seniors talked about centered on the things they didn’t get a chance to do – the movie nights, and the service events, and the worship services they missed because something else got in the way. That’s not to say that school isn’t important, it really is, but don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself. And the trick to being able to enjoy yourself and still get your work done, is to choose what it is that you want to do, and then invest deeply in it. Don’t stretch yourself too thin; being involved in ten different things may be more stress than it’s worth. Being deeply invested in just a few things is probably a better choice… and, if you’re gonna pick something to be deeply invested in, you can’t make a better choice than Axiom.
- Keep on Lovin’: Axiom puts a premium on loving people, and the results are tangible. Never let that go. This world is broken and so many people are out there desperately looking for something to fill the holes in their hearts… 40,000 of them are right outside our door. Whether you’re serving, worshiping, studying, sitting in a lecture, walking on Green Street, or walking into a corporate office for the first time, do it with love.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14
Love people because God loves them. Love people because God loves you. Love people because it’s what Jesus said to do. Just keep on lovin’ people because it makes a difference.
- Live for the Lord: Pursue what you love in everything you do, and above all else, love the Lord. Stay in community and chase after Jesus with everything you’ve got. After all, nothing else matters.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17
Pause: The end of the school year brings inevitably brings about change, and change, even when it’s exciting, can be intimidating. Take the time to meditate on God’s divine wisdom and vision for your life, and let Him know that you want what He wants – you want Him to be sovereign over your life.
“Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11
“Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him…” Psalm 37:4-7
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6
Push Play: I’m not graduating yet; I still have a whole year left in this place. I have another year of classes, writing papers, taking exams, all-night study sessions, seemingly pointless discussion sections, and walking miles in three feet of snow/a torrential downpour. I have another year of Axiom services, Steak’n’Shake outings, impromptu movie nights, bible studies, Water on Greens, Much Love!s, top quality announcement videos, Battle of the Sexes, and being in community with all of you. I have a whole year left, and already I’m getting sentimental. Underclassmen, live it up: God has blessed you immensely by putting you on this campus for a little while; don’t waste your time here. Freshmen, welcome!: You should come hang out with us this fall, because we love you already!
If I’m being honest though, what I’m feeling is more than just sentimentality, I think that’s to be expected at the end of yet another wonderful year. The truth is that I have an entire year left with Axiom and the U of I, but I’m already emotional about leaving! That’s right folks, I actually cried at Axiom last Thursday (and I have it on good authority that I was not the only non-senior in need of a tissue).
You have been warned: next year, I’m gonna be a mess.
Much love, and happy summer!