Faith

I Wish I Hadn’t Gone to University

A better way to think about college for the Christian

 

I’ve become disillusioned with college as a means of preparing for life. The university fails miserably in many areas: life integration, honing character, meaningful accountability, and applying disparate pieces of that education into the whole. I won’t even mention the expense and I won’t get into the indoctrination that floods the gates of the academe.

I would have avoided some student debt had I taken a different life track. I could have done better seeking a trade or vocation, like photography, or graphic design, something that certainly doesn’t require an exorbitant amount of money or time to learn.

The best approach to prepare for a family of my own would have been to seek entrepreneurship, a suggestion that only echoed in my early life from somewhere far, far away. Far away because it fell out of the status quo to reject University.  Going to University was just what people did to be somebody, whatever that meant, as defined certainly by the popular culture.

I fell into that line of thinking and now, as I grow a family of my own with my husband, I can’t say I would encourage my children to follow my footsteps.

 

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. Ecclesiastes 11: 9

 

Turning the Tide

I graduated from two top notch universities with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master’s degree, respectively, and to employers, it appeared I had a lucrative resume. I had great opportunities to work with Fortune 500 companies, and colleges and Universities as well. It was a great pay-off, so I thought…

Then I got married and then I had children and then I began to read my Bible and walk more closely with the Lord and all of what I thought was the right life was indeed just vanity.

The pay-off to following the track to a successful life was indeed flawed because in the end, eternally, it means nothing to God; all my good works are but filthy rags.

So my husband and I began to re-evaluate the purpose God had for us as a family with children. As mentioned in a previous post, it was time to get real with God and come face to face with a radical option which would go contrary to everything we had learned: my staying at home to raise our children on my husband’s income was worth pursuing because it has an eternal investment.

This plan, as it turned out, was indeed God’s plan. It was worth pursuing because it invests in eternity; my children’s eternity. There is a lot of value in that more than in the other options the world has to offer, those man-made constructed pursuits of unreliable and corruptible materials. Job opportunities come a dime a dozen, but educating my children in the name of Lord for the most critical times of their lives is what carried more value.

If I can go back in time, knowing what I know now, I would certainly have done things differently. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, isn’t it? How different would my decisions have been had I sought definitive wise counsel, not secular counsel, from those that relied on scripture for answers, those that could guide me in the way I should go. I grew up in a home with a family that considered prosperity a greater achievement, in which God was an afterthought, but not the center of our home. But by God’s grace, He’s equipping me to teach biblical truth to my children so they could eventually know what I never got a chance to learn at the right time.

See these links for alternatives to traditional education: AME Program, College Plus, Praxis

Post originally published on May 13, 2014

 

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9 thoughts on “I Wish I Hadn’t Gone to University”

  1. Easter Ellen says:

    This is such a wonderful reflection of chasing the dream vs what God has planned for us.

    1. Beloved says:

      Yes, the dream can only take the believer so far, and usually that is away from God.

      Thanks, Easter, for checking in!

      1. Easter Ellen says:

        My pleasure. 🙂
        Bless you lots,
        Easter

  2. lorawords says:

    It sounds to me like finding one’s purpose (which I believe should be in sync with what God has designed for us – the ‘original’ plan) Sometimes, the extent of social pressure, of norms, of what success is or should be, etc can takes us far away from true fulfillment. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Beloved says:

      Yes, it is a battle with the flesh daily. We are heavily influenced by the pressures of the world that we need to abide in the Spirit in order to fulfill His purpose.

  3. Beth Johnson says:

    When I was a girl, I had an old, stone-faced English teacher who made me fall in love with words. In her mouth they marched, danced and sang as they became Beowulf, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton or Frost. I saw multitudes of Technicolor scenes unfold before me while she addressed the class in a barely audible voice. There were others like the home economics teacher who encouraged me to love homemaking and to create beautiful apparel from fabric and thread and the science teacher who helped me to see the wonders of the nature all around me. College music teachers bragged up my ability as a singer while lofty Epicurean types inspired me to become more and more aware of my five senses. In the first three years of college, I took 21 hours each semester. My appetite for learning was insatiable. As I sought to embrace life and live it to the full, all these and more appealed to my intellect and to my foolish pride.

    Years later I met someone who helped me to love God and His word, and my mind and heart began a metamorphosis. The transition has not been easy, since the lure of life in the world still calls from every direction. Yet the true “life” (John 17:3) had so much greater call that it has made all the difference. Because of God’s word, choices are already made. Like the Philippians, we are bought and redeemed, but we are still working out our own salvation from day to day (Phil. 2:12).

    Having known brethren who grew up in the church, who would not humble themselves to serve the one who created them, I have wondered if they too found the things of the world more appealing than the things of eternity. Their reasoning could be quite simple. Maybe not with words, but with their lives they were saying, “To me, the world is in Technicolor, while religion is in black and white.”

    1. Beloved says:

      Thank you for your thorough reply Beth. I do appreciate your vivid reflection on how God transforms the heart into a deeper longing for Him. I think of Susannah Spurgeon who said:

      If I have true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, then the exceeding greatness of the power of the Most High God, “according to the working of His mighty power,” is to me-ward, is on my side, or—I say it with deep reverence,— at my service, always at hand to help, to guard, to defend, and to provide for me. My pen pauses as I ask myself, “Do I believe this? Do any Christians really hold this faith? Is it possible that there can be among the feeble, doubting, self-engrossed, and half-hearted people that I see and hear of, any who possess the assurance that the power of the living God dwells in them, and that they ‘can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth’ them? If there be any such, why, oh I why do they not walk worthy of the vocation wherewith they are called?”

      How true her words! How sweet her reverence. I hope to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith I am called, as this is the purpose of my life. To walk with Him.

      Thank you for stopping by to visit my blog. I appreciate you.

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