It took me about one week of this school year to realize that my normal routine was not going to cut it. COVID seems to add a layer of extra to just about everything, and I could tell that I needed to start every day with prayer and Scripture in order to make it. Gone were the days of lounging with a mindless game on my phone before starting the day, replaced instead by intentionally moving to my “God chair” and opening the Bible to get some wisdom into my mind. This has been life-giving in a challenging season.
Notice what happened here: I realized life was demanding more of me, and I adjusted my routine to lean on God a bit more so that I could meet those demands. In my own human power, I would have crumbled months ago. But with God helping me, I’m surviving and sometimes even thriving.
I point all of this out because I’m familiar with the ebbs and flows of the senior year. I know that it feels like a great relief once you click send on all of your applications, but it doesn’t take long before the inactivity of the waiting period becomes difficult in a completely different way. And then there’s decision time, which sometimes is a piece of cake and sometimes is the hardest choice you’ve ever made.
And, oh yeah, there’s a pandemic.
More than any other advice I could give you about the nuts and bolts of college admission, the one thing all seniors really need to know is this: YOU. NEED. GOD.
Take a good look at your current routine. How are you doing on making time to genuinely pursue spiritual growth? If we’re being honest, probably every single one of us has room for improvement here. If you realize that you’re barely hanging on, or if you anticipate that either the waiting or the deciding (or both) will be a challenge for you, then join me in reflecting on these questions to look for ways to change things up:
- There are lots of ways to connect with God. Which is the most meaningful one for you? Possible answers include listening to sermons or podcasts, reading the Bible, working through a daily devotional, keeping a prayer journal, listening to worship music or joining friends in a small group discussion on matters of faith. Or maybe you’ve got something else in mind? The methods of connecting with God are endless.
- Have you felt more or less connected with God since the pandemic began? While I’m sure some of you will say that you feel more connected to God now, I bet many of you will say that you’re less connected to God. If that’s the case, take a look at your answer to the first question and look for ways you can change your routine to connect more sincerely with God.
- Are you surrounding yourself with people who point you to God? If your answer to this question is “not enough,” then you can probably guess what I’m going to say - find yourself some people who point you to God and spend time with them. They need you as much as you need them.
The truth of the matter is that we all need God all the time. Pandemic or not. Upcoming transition to college or not. Yes, I’m trying to help you navigate this senior year with wisdom. I’m also hoping you’ll lay a foundation for a lifestyle that will see you through all of life’s ups and downs.
Ask yourself the hard questions about your spiritual life. Make the changes and tweaks to your routine that are necessary. Find your own “God chair” and let him guide you. And watch yourself thrive as a result!
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26: 3-4
Director of College Counseling