We all mature in such different ways throughout college. I find myself thinking back to my former self, reflecting upon when and how I reacted in the face of adversity or camaraderie, during times of great challenges or excitement. I realize that I would react so differently now than I would have at that time in my life. Now that’s not to say that I necessarily regret how I reacted during those times: I stand by much of what I did, but also find myself thinking of ways that I could have been more loving. Loving of myself, of others, and of Christ.
One of the ways I matured though college was through the reframing of my faith. I began my college career with a ‘listen and do’ faith perspective, and left with a ‘learn and try’ perspective. I felt that during high school, the ‘listen and do’ faith worked for me and many of those around me, as we all had similar lives. However, in college, the number of activities, perspectives, and lifestyles that one can adopt is too broad to apply a cookie-cutter faith and hope that it works. Instead, a didactic approach is needed—one where you have to take action in your faith, though questioning, doubt, and reflection.
Now that I find myself in an entirely new setting- working full time, 9 to 5 in a life where most everything is very constant- I find myself needing to adapt and mature. Though I am now living a different lifestyle, I feel that my reframed faith still remains with me due to its dynamic nature. This was not true for high school, where I felt stuck in my faith. I now can adapt to changes in my life, as I have learned ‘learn and try’ rather than rely on listening and doing. I have agency in my new faith. I will learn from friends, family, coworkers, and even myself. I will take an active role in applying my faith to my life, in finding meaningful community around me, and I will try to love in new ways by attempting to understand every experience as pedagogical.
Though it will be difficult to do so–I look forward to finding a community like Lighthouse that encourages a ‘learn and try’ theology. As I search for that place, however, I look back upon my time in Lighthouse with nostalgia and gratitude for the education, love, and faith foundation it has laid for the rest of my life.