Thursday, October 21, 2010

College Bound

I always knew this time would come, but I never anticipated it to arrive so soon.
Children often can't wait to grow up. They pine for their teenage years. Being cool. Nearly grown. Drivers License. Teens long for adulthood. College. Career. Independence! And adults are often caught wishing for their childhood. Funny how life works, isn't it?
I must be honest here - I don't fit the average mold. As a young kid, I generally liked being a young kid. Sure, there were times I looked forward to the future, but I was mainly concerned with building forts, flying my imaginary dragon, and saving the world. As a teen, I began to become wary of Time. I knew Time was out to get me. Time is like a wily fox; he draws himself out at peculiar times, pretending to amble ever so slowly. Convinced of his lethargy, you let down your guard. Then, in the blink of an eye, you look back and he has caught up with you. Before you know it, he gets ahead of you, and you're trying to catch up with him! I began to comprehend this as an adolescent, and so I guarded against it as carefully as I could. I even - prepare for a shock - put off getting my driver's permit. And though I have proudly held my permit for nearly a year now...I still don't have my license. (Admitting that kind of stings.)
I've spent a lot of time doing what many adults do - wishing to regain my childhood - before I've even spent it! It sounds rather silly now. But when childhood is all you've ever known, and when you understand that once it's gone, you can't recapture it, it is easy to be somewhat apprehensive of the future. I do not mean that I fear the future. I'm just a little loathe to let go.
Well, Time pulled his age-old stunt once again, for here I sit, a high school senior, applying to college. We're expecting a tornado in our home this week - a mayhem of applications essays, transcripts, etc., etc. But in the midst of this storm, I am happy.
Choosing the right college is crucial. Where one spends the next four or more years of their life is not a decision to be taken lightly, for college can make or break you. I don't necessarily mean academically, but spiritually, as well.
That is why I prayed so earnestly about where God wanted me to attend. My heart is full of dreams that God has given me, and since college is often the key that unlocks many dreams, I didn't want to go just anywhere. 
While in Guatemala last summer, I asked God to reveal to me where I should attend college. He answered my prayer, and Patrick Henry College is what He said.
Last week we visited Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia. PHC has been my favorite college for a long time. It has been my parents' favorite for an even longer time. Academically, Patrick Henry College ranks among the highest colleges in the nation. Their core curriculum consists of 63 credits. They place a great emphasis on Constitutional freedom and political involvement. They are also ideally placed only an hour away from Washington D.C. But far, far greater than all of this, Christ is at the center of everything at Patrick Henry College. The Christian community is close. The environment is uplifting and encouraging, where iron learns to sharpen iron.
In fact, you should check it out.
And so, I am scrambling to get everything ready to send off; scrambling to finish all my high school preparations, so that when I do leave for college next year, hopefully to PHC, I'll be ready.
Now I find myself looking forward to college with immense excitement. Maybe I'm even looking forward to college more than I've ever looked forward to anything. However, I have to be careful. For so many years I have wanted to put the future off. Now I'm ready for it to arrive. Somewhere in between, I must learn to live in the moment. That doesn't exclude cherishing the past or preparing for the future. It simply means finding joy where I am. Right now. This moment. There is joy. Thankfully, God is teaching me this lesson, and I think I'm beginning to grasp it.

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