I’ve been reading through the gospel of John the past couple of weeks. I am at Chapter 18, after Jesus was arrested. I was reading where Pilate asked Jesus if He was the King of the Jews (vs.33) and Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Suddenly it hit me and I thought to myself: THAT’S IT IN A NUTSHELL! Jesus’ kingdom isn’t here. All the ‘stuff’ in this world isn’t Jesus’ world. The deal isn’t here. The prize, the goal isn’t here.
You’re probably thinking, “…..ahhhhhh, Sue, you didn’t get this till now??????” All I can say is it’s one of those ‘aha’ moments, you know, where you ‘know’ it in your head…… but then it drops deeper into your heart.
Suddenly I thought of my college years. I was a non-traditional student who didn’t go to college until I was in my 40’s. My whole focus during that time was on the day when I would be finished with college, when I would get that degree. That was my goal. It took me 6 years to reach that goal (a 4-year BS paralegal degree) but I did get it!
I realized that our time here on earth is like being in college. We’re enrolled in this huge college – “The University of the World”. As Christians, we have a professor, the Holy Spirit. He’s a great teacher! But He ‘stretches’ us. Some of His classes include “Servanthood 101”; “Enemy-Loving Lab”; “Prayer”; “Turning the Other Cheek 200”; “Forgiveness 300”; “Choosing God or money?” One of His hardest classes is “Dying to Yourself”. He gives assignments. Am I completing my assignments? What kind of grades am I getting on my assignments? Am I an A or B student? Just average? Or am I failing my classes?
As we grow in our Christian faith, its as if we are moving from freshman year to sophomore year to junior year to senior year. I fear that some of us are still ‘freshman’ after years of being enrolled in college.
During my years as a student at “The University of the World”, I want to keep my focus on when I will be finished with ‘college’ and my real life will begin, with My Lord in heaven. A life where there will be no pain, no tears, no struggles, no fears! A place that is so amazing, with so much joy and happiness and rewards and bonuses and peace and love and……. on and on and on…… I can’t even wrap my mind around a place like this.
And I want to graduate with honors, how ’bout you? I want Professor Holy Spirit, Dean of Students Jesus, President of the college, my Abba Father, to say, “Well done, good and faithful student servant!