Freshman First 40 — Day 37
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2011
What is the vocation of a college student?
The standard response to that question most likely will involve something ordered towards a post-graduation goal or event. Frankly, most of what we do in college is ordered towards something after graduation—landing a job, getting into graduate school, moving into the “real” world.
And yet, I suspect that we improperly understand vocation if we only process it like we tend to process the rest of our experience in college—as something to be gained, understood, or attained for a future time, in a time when we are finally mature.
Think back over the past few days and weeks. Your excitement to be here was real. Your homesickness is real. The attraction to that certain person in your FYS is real (well, maybe) as is your sense of being overwhelmed by the things your professors expect you to do before Christmas. The bill you have to pay every semester is real. I’ve been with college students long enough to know that this is, in fact, very much the real world.
If that’s the case, how might we talk about vocation? There’s a lot to be said, but suffice it to say that we might have to re-think what counts as the real world. If the incarnation of God as Jesus teaches us anything, it teaches us that right here and right now are the moments that God in all of God’s Self breaks into and redeems. The beginning of any faithful conversation about vocation has to be tied to recognizing that no day and no time and no place is more real than this day and this time and this place.
I tend to think in large, global ideas and plans, and when I get carried away with how to “get where I am called to be” over the next few years, my wife very patiently reminds me to “do what is faithful for today.”
Do what is faithful for today. Go to class (or change your major). Write your paper. Care for your roommate. Ask the hard questions that might be easier to ask later. There’s a voice calling you—and yes, that voice is calling you to a life of faithfulness. Whatever you might be called to do after graduation is important, but your call starts today.
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