Chaplain's Page

College Life

A New Beginning

 

            August. This is the month when new students come to UM to begin a new phase of their lives and returning students come back to what is by now a familiar world to them. Leaving home and going off to college can be an exhilarating yet daunting experience for many. This is a sort of coming of age transition in a young person's life.

            There is so much of the unknown that comes with the experience of leaving home and going off to college. I am reminded of the experience of Abraham and Sarah, roughly 1800 B.C., when they left everthing familiar to them in their native Mesopotamia and headed off to an unknown life in an unknown land. As the Book of Genesis has it, God told Abraham (at that point still called Abram) to leave his homeland and to go to "the land that I will show you." [Genesis 12:1] No road map. No destination revealed. Abraham was called to go to a land that God would show him. It's as if God were saying to him, "You'll know it when you see it."

            Abraham is generally acknowledged as being our father in faith, and he is held up as a model for someone with faith, a model to imitate. Very often, far too often in fact, Christians tend to equate faith with intellectual assent to a laundry list of beliefs. In essence, however, faith means trust: trust in God. Abraham had enough trust in God to be willing to leave behind all that was familiar to him in order to step out into the unknown.

            While going off to college is not quite as daunting as heading out into the wilderness looking for a new home, it does call us to step out into the unknown. Simply to embark on this adventure implies that we have at least some willingness to step out into the unknown. This is essential for growth; this is essential for a fulfilling life.

            When we leave our parents' home and go off to college, we are, for the first time in a big way, free to make our own mistakes. This freedom can be alternately exhilarating and frightening, but such freedom is the essence of a life worth living. Hopefully we learn from our mistakes, we grow, we mature. And as we move through our lives we develop a greater capacity to live by faith.

 

            By faith I do not mean certitude!  The basic choice we are all faced with is to either live by faith or live by fear. To live by fear is to refuse to step out into the unknown, to insist on having all the answers and to cling to such "answers" even if the "answers" are false. People who live by fear insist that all is black and white and they refuse to accept any ambiguity in life. To live by faith, on the other hand, is to be willing to step out into the unknown, to be willing to risk making mistakes, trusting that God loves us through it all. To live by faith is to walk an unknown path, one step at a time, until we arrive at a place that God will show us.

 

Father Frank +

 

 

 

 

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This Week's Events
OCT

16

TUE
UEA meeting in library
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Grain of Sand Sangha Meditation in Library
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Group meets in Chapel Library on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. Practice guided, walking and silent meditation, read and reflect about “Dharmakaya” … Where Buddha and his teachings manifest (everywhere) Dharma .
OCT

17

WED
Wednesday Healing Service
12:10 PM to 12:45 PM
Quiet contemplative service in Chapel - 12:10 to 1:00 pm
SCP Mentoring in the Library - Debbie Wehking
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
6:00 - 8:00 P.M. in the Library
Christian Yoga at the Bede
6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
6:30 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. in the Chapel
OCT

18

THU
Eating Disorders Support Group
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Bible Search
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