It’s a question I never actually thought I’d have to answer. But here I am, 365 days from completing high school. As I watch those around me don graduation caps and host parties to celebrate the culmination of their schooling, I find myself wondering this: What will college look like for me?
By no means am I an extremist when it comes to organization and planning. But the idea of being a postgraduate only one year from now can be intimidating. What will I do? Where will I go? Should I pursue a degree? What will finances look like? Will I stay busy? Will I be too busy?
The questions stack themselves into a wall that can easily frustrate my view. But it’s not a clear view of the future I’m missing. It’s a clarified, unobstructed view of Christ.
As ignorant as I may be to it, the answer to my plethora of questions is seated before me, waiting for me. The answer is Jesus.
A Teacher Then, A Teacher Now
Jesus is a teacher. A mentor, counselor, and professor. He holds the solutions to every equation and the answers to each raised hand. But more than that, Jesus is the answer. He’s the solution.
In his book God’s Global Mosaic, Paul-Gordon Chandler enlightens Westerners to the way that Christians in India view Jesus as their teacher today. Chandler writes:
So often in the West we view Jesus as having been a teacher once upon a time, in the past tense, and we look today to be taught primarily from his teachings back then—teachings found in the Gospels and also reflected in the Epistles, contemporary Christian literature, the words of Christian leaders and the lessons of the church history. Indian Christians, however, view Jesus as their active teacher in the present moment—their current primary source of spiritual growth. To them his most significant teachings are not back then but are being received in the present tense, the today, even if still through the Scriptures.[i]
The Rabbi who taught in profound parables and used brilliant analogies to peel the blinders off his students hasn’t retired. He’s willing to sit and tutor us every single day if we will but kneel at his feet.
Lessons at the Feet of Jesus
Tangibly, we can’t brush up against Jesus’ ankles or finger the hem of his robe as he speaks. But we can draw near through the Holy Spirit and his Word.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26).
The lessons we can learn kneeling before Jesus’ feet today are irreplaceable and beyond extraordinary. They’re practical, profound, and purposeful courses taught by the greatest professor of all: Jesus Christ.
Like Mary, I want to choose this “good portion.”
Mary… sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. … the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:39-42).
Mary and Martha’s story doesn’t suggest that Jesus opposes productivity or servanthood, just as he doesn’t oppose a college education. What it does reveal is the simple truth the Gospel teaches: Resting at the foot of Jesus’ cross must precede every other work in life. And studying at the foot of Jesus under the teaching of the Holy Spirit must precede working for a degree. This is the ultimate prerequisite, the greatest preparation we could ever receive for our college years and beyond.
College diplomas in the hands of daring Christians can become powerful tools for the Kingdom. But an earthly education will prove futile if we never enter the classroom of Christ.
This is where I want to enroll first. Where I want to be educated most. This—sitting at the feet of Jesus—is the best place to go to college.
[i] Paul-Gordon Chandler, God’s Global Mosaic (Dower’s Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2000), pg. 87