Not long ago, a very important paper came in the mail. Jonathan was accepted to the college of his choice. We were fairly sure that he would get in, but still the anticipation built as he tore into the envelope. He was happy to announce that in the fall he will be a Bison at Lipscomb University.
Why did he choose Lipscomb? Well, Lipscomb may not want to know this, but he chose it because he can leave it faster than other colleges. Yep, you read that right. He can leave faster.
You see, Jonathan has never enjoyed school. He loves learning- what he wants to learn. Everything else is just drudgery. So when he found out that he could get a bachelor’s degree in three years instead of four, Jonathan was all in. On top of that he will start in the fall with some course work already completed during his high school years, so he legitimately hopes to finish in 2 1/2 years!
As we talked about college, Jonathan asked me to tell him what it will be like. “I don’t know if I can,” I explained. “Your experience will be a lot different than mine. I took some time off before going to college because I was tired of school. Then a year after I did start, I married your dad. We moved and I transferred schools. I never lived in a dorm or ate at the cafeteria.”
“You’re right that our experiences will be different,” he replied, “but really they are the same. We both don’t (didn’t) want to be in school but know it has to be done in order to get the degree to do what we really want to do. It’s all the same goal.” Wisdom comes from sixteen year olds, too, sometimes.
I was walking through the farm fields and noticed brown stripes where the bean harvester had changed directions. As the large machine swept through the field, it harvested in one direction and then the next, creating a pattern of dark and light brown stripes.
The goal of the harvester never changed, the direction that the goal was met did. We all have the same goal- a relationship with the Father- but we each take a different path there. (I’m not talking about other religions; Jesus is the only way to the Father.) Some of us take the shortest route, seeing a 2 1/2 year option and racing straight to the finish line. Others of us putz along kicking dust in the wind as we wander along a winding path. And still others of us head in a different direction for years before we realize the map is turned upside down; then we flip it over and head toward the Father.
Don’t let others tell you that your experience is wrong. God gives each of us a different route with different scenery, speed bumps, and traffic lights. The only question you need to ask is, Am I heading in the right direction?
“Therefore, we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-10