Freshman or upperclassman, we all enter into this new year with the same ambitious, focused, yet totally unrealistic goals of conquering pre-med classes. We want to do all of this while disproving the necessity of sleep and winning the attention of the cute boy across from us in lab who has the precious dimples and tiny freckle on his chin; you’re thinking, “I totally know what frat he is in because of his T-shirt and he definitely has a date party coming up and he’s going to ask me right, RIGHT????”
Was that too specific?
Regardless, we plan to triumph this semester, leaving a path of glitter and confetti behind our every step while Beyonce’s “Run the World” blares in the background.
Yet in three weeks when the first round of tests start and I, devastated and realizing that dimple boy doesn’t even know my name, will be forced to prioritize what is actually important to me.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform yourself to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.”
We all need to be reminded of this verse when the time comes to prioritize. We cannot be molded by this materialistic society, cloned into a dysfunctional member driven by success and power. We know that we must invest our energy only into what is good and pleasing and perfect, but what exactly is “good and pleasing and perfect?”
1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells us to “test everything; retain what is good.” I believe that this is one of the most encouraging things we can be told as college students: “test everything.” Meaning, “You are about to enter into a whirlwind of a new semester and you have no idea what is going to happen, but test the waters and renew your mind.
Discover the will of God. Discover what is good and pleasing and perfect, even if you have no clue what you’re doing.” Step back from the bustle of Oxford and find peace in your day to ask what His will may be.
We cannot discover what is good and perfect and pleasing if we do not surrender to this journey of testing everything. This year you will not be testing anything alone; the Lord will be testing each journey with you and He will show you what good He wants you to retain.
This journey must be a priority to each of us. Whether we talk to Him in the Grove, in Adoration, walking to class, or in front of the waffle maker, making time to discover His will is vital. In the swarm of new classes, the havoc of recruitment, and the frustration of parking, take time each day to renew your mind and seek His will, learn what is good and pleasing and perfect, and may we all retain it this year.
Happy first week!!
Rachel, a junior at the University of Mississippi, is from Mobile, Alabama