Later this morning, Jeanine and I will be taking our oldest son to college. I still cannot believe that our little Jonathan is old enough to go off to school, but regardless of my emotions, it must be done. I still have so many things I’d like to tell him. I still feel the need to pass on the wisdom of my experiences.
I want to say to him that he shouldn’t make the same mistakes I made as a young adult. Someone needs to remind him that missing one day of class can lead to missing two days of class, which leads to missing a week and then a semester – that then you’ll be missing tests. Freedom bears with it responsibility, and only the fool meaninglessly embraces the ability to choose one’s own path to the neglect of opportunity. Make the effort to participate in the activities which will assist you in reaching your goals – whether you find them enjoyable or not.
I want to tell him that friends will not simply fall from the sky – “to be a friend, make a friend” – and relationships are worth cultivating. Someone could share with him that some of the people he will meet will be ushers at his wedding and senders of Christmas cards. Perhaps someone he shares study notes with will be his soul-mate. Invest in people as much as possible.
I want to express to him that time is short and 4 years will pass like a watch in the night. Someone might be wise to let him know that experiencing life completely – body soul, mind, spirit – cannot be underestimated. Open yourself to new experiences while maintaining your personal identity and standards. Feel free to laugh and cry openly. Take a cooking class just because. Travel on a missions trip to India. Embrace the blessings God is giving you: they may not be offered again.
For all those going to college this week, and for the parents that love them, I pray that the greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ overwhelm you with His loving kindness and preserve you in the hold of his hand.