Life after college can be hard, but also full of meaning and hope. With graduation looming for many of you, what should you know about the world that waits for you on the other side of your diploma? What can you expect? What can you learn from those who have gone before you? In our 6 part series 'Life After College' we hope you find a few significant things to help prepare you for what's ahead.
Billions of dollars are spent every year towards getting us to buy into the American Dream. Even as Christians, don't we often spend our lives chasing an ideal cushy life, and desire to die a painless death with no hell? The question I have to ask myself when I face this reality is, is that what Jesus meant when he said, "Deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow me?"
How do you want your life to count for the sake of the glory of God and the advancement of His global kingdom? This question I am continually reminded of. It doesn’t bring guilt, but a conviction on how I live to glorify God and make Him known to all people of this world. Seven billion people live on this planet, and the most liberal estimates would say that one third of this world is 'Christian'. That means that 4.5 billion people are without Jesus and, if He came back today, would spend an eternity separated from God. As a follower of Jesus, this should break our hearts if we believe what we read in scripture about God’s plan for salvation.
I think about the person that has never heard about Jesus in the bush of Africa, or in slum in India, or in corporate China. And I ask, what if I was in their spot and never knew about the greatest message that’s ever been told? The message of peace, satisfaction, purpose, love, hope, security, and fulfillment that all of humankind is searching for. What if I was searching for those things and finding only empty promises while there is a message of redemption out there that the God of the universe rigged from the start and I never even had the chance to hear about. What would I want someone to do for me?
I can imagine I’d say, "Tell me about this good news, tell me about away to know God, tell me this story that can save my life and fulfill what I am looking for." That’s exactly what I would want someone to tell me about, Jesus and the gospel, and that’s what I believe we should be compelled to do as followers of Jesus. Not out of obligation, but out of love, living our lives in light of eternity however God has called us to do that.
It’s scary, when thinking about leaving school and on to your career. I’ve been there and I've felt the pressures of the world telling me what to do with my life. I get that, and I understand it’s important to be smart with how we leverage ourselves with the skills we have just learned and to go out and make a difference in this world. I get that, but the question I think we must ask ourselves is, how are we living sacrificially for God?
In the early 20th century, William Whiting Borden grew up in a wealthy family. They owned what you see today in the grocery store as, Borden Dairy. After graduating from high school, Borden’s gift was to travel the world. So he did. He traveled all over the place; Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the big idea he took from all his traveling was that the world was really hurting. He decided to write in his Bible the words: No Reserves.
Borden started studying at Yale that fall and had a desire to reach out to his classmates with the gospel. He started a prayer group and asked guys to join him. By the end of Borden’s freshman year 150 people were involved in a Bible study. He continued to be bold in his faith by caring for students at Yale, helping the widows and orphans of New Haven, and by the end of his college career 1,300 students were meeting in Bible studies. Upon graduation Borden turned down high paying jobs because he wanted to go to the Muslim Kansu people of China and wrote down in his bible the words: No Retreats.
After graduating from Yale, Borden headed to Princeton Seminary where he studied theology and was off sailing to China. Before he got there, he stopped in Egypt so he could learn the Arabic language. While in Cairo he contracted spinal meningitis and within a month William Whiting Borden was dead at the age of 25. After his death, his belongings were sent back home. When his family reviced them, they went through his things and saw scribbled in his bible the words, "No Reserves, No Retreats, No Regrets."
William Whiting Borden forsook the comforts of this world for the mission of God. He had many things laid out for him and could have lived very cushy life in the eyes of the world, but he decided that Jesus was worth more. We can learn a lot form the short life of William Whiting Borden and as we ponder, think, and pray about what lies ahead. May we all think about what Jesus did for undeserving people and how unreached people can hear about his amazing message.
There is a lost and dying world out there and, as God gives us the lenses to see that, we can’t help but want to do something. Right? That is my hope and prayer from now until the end of the age. Our lives can’t make sense to the rest of the world as followers of Jesus. May we not settle for nominal, heartless Christianity, but rather let’s run hard after God by making His name known as He has run hard after everyone of us!
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. - Galatians 6:14