he Collegiate Letter   

The Collegiate Letter New and Uncharted Directions

By Dave Breese

Final exams are just around the corner or may even have already begun for some of our friends. We, therefore, imagine that most of your nights are now filled with serious study and intense preparation for the days which are to come.

For many, this will be the last round of tests in their college careers. Soon they will graduate and enter the challenging world of commerce, where they will have the opportunity to put into practice the things they have learned in school. It is an exciting and yet often fearful step from the known into the unknown, from the relative security of campus life to the ambiguities of corporate or public life.

New and Uncharted Directions
We wonder how many of our friends in college have been able to ascertain what will be the direction their lives will take upon graduation. Perhaps very few know, or think they know for a certainty, what they will be doing with their lives in days to come. In our experience, even that number will be cut in half by the exigencies of life which so suddenly and, on the surface, capriciously, work to move our lives in new and uncharted directions.

But may I share with you a truth that has over and over again proven to be true in my life? Some of the most exciting and fulfilling things that have ever happened to me have come in the form of the unexpected. We work so carefully to lay our detailed plans for the future only to find that somewhere along the way we come to a fork in the road that forever changes the direction our lives will take.

So, how will you act when you come to the fork in your road? Will you find it easy to make a choice between one direction or the other? Have you built the qualities into your character and developed a relationship with God that will make your decision a “slam-dunk” in the game of life?

Whether you now stand on the verge of graduation or not, the question of finding the will of God for your life is one of the most crucial issues you will ever face. The related decisions you will make will determine your career, your perception of life, your choice of friends and affiliates - in essence, all that you will ever undertake to do. We stand with you in hope and in prayer that you will find the decisions as you embark upon the thrilling next chapter in your life.

Of course, your immediate task is to successfully complete the challenge that lies directly ahead of you - to finish this college year in triumph, having gained all that you can from those who have dedicated their lives to sharing their knowledge with you. We want to encourage you as you set about to do this. If you have invested your time wisely, working first to absorb, then to question, and finally to synthesize your findings into a proper world view, we are convinced you will do well in your exams.

A few suggestions that have worked well for us as regards preparing to take an exam:

  • Begin and end your study time with prayer. A proper spiritual attitude will open the fertile fields of your mind to accept and retain the material you are about to study.
  • Invest quality time in your study. Do not leave it until you are otherwise exhausted by the various non-academic pursuits that can so easily fill your waking hours.
  • Spend a few minutes before you go to sleep each night to recap what you have studied that day. The human mind is a wonderful thing, and research shows that even while you sleep, your mind continues to work on information it received just before going to bed. In that way, you can use your sleeping hours not only to rest, but also to reinforce what you have learned in your studies.
  • Now more than ever, it is vital that both your body and mind receive the proper rest. A tired body affects the mind. A tired mind cannot function at full capacity. It may take a little will power, but be sure to postpone those late-night activities until after exams are over.
  • Physical exercise will help increase your retentive abilities. The amount of oxygen that gets to your brain is directly related to the amount of oxygen that is in your blood. Even a minimal amount of regular, cardiovascular exercise can make a real difference in the performance of your brain. That, my friend, will in turn be of tremendous benefit to your study time.
Positive Results
Now, we know that there are some to whom everything seems to come easily. They are “Johannes Factotums,” or people who appear to be successful at anything they undertake to do. (By the way, as I'm sure you remember, that was how Greene described William Shakespeare in his “Groatsworth of Wit,” published way back in 1592. That's pretty good company, if you can keep it, and I wouldn't be surprised if that could also be said of you!)

But please be reassured that even if things come a little more deliberately with you, and you are not a “Johannes Factotum,” a careful, logical plan of attack can produce an abundant and positive result for you in the marvelous unfolding of your life. For every person who believes on Christ as Savior, God has prepared a way to discover and attain that which is His perfect will.

Which leads us to ask further, have you come to the point where you know what will be your next step towards fulfilling the plan of God for your life? Do you know how to find the will of God at all? Would it surprise you to know that, although there is no simple and unequivocal formula through which we can find the will of God and circumvent the necessity of our own intelligent input, there are some very direct steps we can take that will make it possible for us to find the will of God.

We cannot say loud enough nor long enough, the absolutely essential role our own will plays in finding the will of God and attaining the crowning achievements He has ahead for those who love Him. Not too long ago, I wrote a poem about this, which, with your permission, I will share with you now. It is titled, “The Choosing.”

      Twelve kinds of wonder
          Ten kinds of thrill
      That God has endowed us
          With two words, “I will”
      In loving permission
          He whispers, “You may”
      We're free moral agents
          What can we say?

      Upheld in His sovereignty
          His universe stands
      Each infinite detail
          Held fast in His hands.
      Where nothing may vary
          From His precise plan
      No alternate mind
          But then . . .
          He made man!

      Within him He placed
          The power to choose
      For good or for evil
          To win or to lose.
      With the image of God
          Anchored deep in his being
      He communes with his Lord
          And by faith waits the seeing.

      The loving experiment
          Heaven has designed
      An alternative will
          Though often maligned
      Is the reason for living
          The essence of life
      By this is explained
          The joys and the strife.

      So, choices do matter
          Commitments still count
      The law that we live by
          Came down from the mount,
      Guaranteeing us freedom
          From the most to the least
      Marking always the difference
          'Tween the man and the beast.

      Let therefore the person
          Who would live life aright
      Be shrewd in his choosing
          'Neath heaven's bright light.
      Led by the Spirit
          Blest from on high
      We follow the pathway
          That leads to the sky.
by Dave Breese

Your college career has thus far been molded, first and foremost, by the choices you have made, has it not? You chose which school to attend. Even those who felt pressured by family or friends to attend a particular school had to first make the decision to accede to those pressures. That single choice determined the teachers you would have, the friends you would make, and the resulting perspective you would develop on virtually everything that will come to you in life. Pretty extensive and far reaching results from just one decision, don't you agree? And rest assured, your life will continue to be bombarded with important decisions that simply must be made.

Will of God
We thought that it might be helpful to you to offer you a little book, just 32-pages in length, that points out some of the key decisions you must make in order to find the will of God for your life. It is aptly titled, “How Can I Know the Will of God?” You'll find it easy and yet thought-provoking reading. It won't take more than a brief part of an evening to read through, but it will really make a difference in your life.

I recommend it highly and would like to send it to you free of charge as our investment in your life. You need send nothing in return although we would love to hear about your struggles and successes if you would like to take the time to write and tell us about them. You see, you are important to us and are remembered faithfully in our prayers. We count it a joy and a privilege to be able to write to you and share our thoughts with you at this unparalleled time of development in your life.

Please keep in touch and remember us in your prayer time as we so often remember you. I believe God has tremendous things ahead for you, so invest the very best of your time and efforts in finding His exciting plan for you. Remember to keep Christ first in all things, and you'll never go wrong. May God bless you as you wind up this academic year and launch out into the future and keep you safe in the days to come. I pray that He will!