This morning I’m driving to Jackson, TN to speak at chapel for the students of Union University. I consider this an enormous responsibility – it always is when someone else invites you to deliver a message from their pulpit. You are, in that moment, not only representing God (which is enough to make one tremble) but also you are representing the person who has been kind enough to invite you. But beyond the responsibility, this is also an enormous privilege. That’s because there are few things in the world I enjoy more than speaking to college students. I thought I might tell you a bit about why I love it so much, and I’ve taken the liberty of starting each of my 3 points with the letter “P” (you know, cause I’m preaching today):
Ever been around college students? The passion is almost tangible. Everything in the world is the most exciting thing in the world. They don’t care that they don’t have any money, ate mustard for dinner last night, and have slept a total of 3 hours in the past 7 days. It doesn’t matter because everything. Is. Awesome. All at the same time. As you grow, I think you naturally lose some of this enthusiasm and zest for life; it’s great to see it in action every once in a while just to be reminded of the common grace God has given to all of us every single day, not to mention the matchless grace He has extended to us through Jesus.
The university setting is for most anyone one of the defining atmospheres of life. This is the time and place where serious life decisions are starting to be made. Whether you recognize it or not, you are laying down the bricks that will be the foundation of your finances, relationships, and career day by day. If you want to influence the future, then, there may be no better environment than with a bunch of freshmen. I think about my own time in college and graduate school – the people I interacted with, the things I learned, and the values that were established – these are with me now, and I’m so thankful for those who were willing to invest in me at that age to form in me what I didn’t even know was so foundational.
One of the great things about standing in a setting like I will have the chance to do today is that I have no idea who is represented in that room. I have no idea where they came from, much less where they are going – but just think of it. Leaders, husbands, wives, pastors, businessmen and women – all people of such incredible potential to contribute great things to the kingdom of God. You simply don’t know, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. You speak, then, assuming that the people in that room will change their own portion of the world, and it brings an increasing weightiness to the opportunity before you.
If you would, I’d love for you to join me in prayer for this particular group of students today. Thanks for reading.