Dropping Him Off at College
Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot’s length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child. Acts 7:5
My wife and I dropped our son off for his freshmen year at a far-away college this week. We’ve been preparing for it for a while, but as the move-in date grew closer, becoming more real, our emotions have been in revolt.
I know it’s time. I know we’ve been growing towards this for 18 years. I’m proud of him and I know it’s right for him. What I know to be right though, and how I feel, are two different things. He’s ready to go, ready to be out on his own – as he should be. I’m thankful for that. There’s part of me though that thinks it would be a good idea if we simply scrapped this whole far-off school thing. Perhaps it would be better if you just came home and got a local education.
This is where I often find myself in my faith. I usually know the right thing. I know I should help those in need. I know I should give of my time and money. The right thing though, is rarely the thing I feel like doing. What God wants is often inconvenient or simply doesn’t make sense. When I feel him telling me to do something, I usually have several good arguments prepared, explaining why I shouldn’t do it.
Abraham must have felt this way. In today’s passage, God instructed him to go to some far-off country, leaving behind everything he knew. God told him that his descendants would inherit this promised land, which may have sounded OK, except for one thing – Abraham had no children. Abraham must have had some good excuses. This doesn’t make sense. Perhaps you have the wrong guy? I don’t think it’s a good idea to abandon everything I know for a promise that isn’t even possible.
This is where many of us find ourselves. We believe in God, but we mistakenly think that following him should make sense and align with our will. Faith though, by definition, often requires that we obey, even when it doesn’t make sense. If we knew the outcome before we obeyed, it wouldn’t be faith. Faith means doing what’s right, particularly when we don’t feel like it and it doesn’t make sense.
I know this, but still, it may take some time for my emotions to be OK with far-off college.