I Kept Out Christ In College
In the words of Vince Vaughn and 95% of bachelors at one point in their life:
"We’re going to Vegas baby, VEGAS."
And by “Vegas” I mean “college.”
Because, let’s be honest, the biggest difference between college and Sin City is that what happens in college never actually stays in college.
Following the lyrics of the musical masterpiece known as the Electric Slide: “Let’s take it back now, yo.”
To senior year of college.
I stopped going to Mass on Sundays during college. When I was back home for a weekend or for the summer I’d go with my family, but at school I never went. And it’s not like it would've been some huge inconvenience to go. The University Church was a 4 minute walk away from my room, and even if that was too long of a trek, there was a chapel in my own building. But I’d make a million excuses. “I’m too tired,” “I’ve got so much work to do”, “God knows I love him, so what’s the need?” or something like “After the Saturday night I just had, how could I possibly walk into church.”
Now the first few excuses I came up with were blatantly flimsy. I even knew it as I was making them. If I’m not too tired to go to the gym then I’m not too tired to go to Mass. If I’ve got enough time in between assignments to watch Netflix, then I’ve got enough time to give to God. If I love Him like I say I do—then just like anyone you love, you make them a priority in your life. You schedule time to see them, talk to them and show them you love them. Saying it is not enough. For anyone. Especially God.
But the last excuse I made was a doozy. It was the one that seemed legitimate enough to keep me away from habitually going to Mass for just about 3 years:
How could I possibly walk into church after "That"
But eventually I came to realize that excuse is even less reasonable than all of the others.
Whatever your "that" is, it isn’t what should keep you away from God, it’s what should make you run to Him.
If you wake up thinking something like, “Why on earth did I do that or say that, I need to stop talking to that person, I should have treated my friend better, I’m so embarrassed that happened...” that's great.
Really. That means that when you made a mistake or did something wrong, it bothers you. You know that you kinda screwed up, and you don’t feel indifferent about it.
It means that, looking back you know that you shouldn’t have done something, and looking forward you can see how it wouldn’t be right to do it again.
But often times, we end up doing it again. And again.
And we can be quick to keep an arms length away from God because we feel embarrassed or ashamed that we keep doing the same things. Maybe we want to change but can’t seem to, or maybe we just don’t want to stop doing something even though it would be for the best.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Insanity is thinking that we have to change what we do and the way we act in order to go to God. That we have to clean up our act first and after that we can bring Him into our life. We say we need to start to change and then we will go to Him.
It is going to Him that will then change us. Not the other way around.
Jesus Christ is our Savior. Which, at the most fundamental level means we need saving. It means that we need someone to help us. It means that we can’t do it alone.
To say that you’ll go to God when you’ve started living better is like saying you’ll grab onto a life saver when you’ve stopped yourself from drowning.
it's the life saver that stops you from drowning, and it's God who changes you.
God gives grace. Which is like divine power. Power to change things you wouldn’t have been able to change without it. Sometimes power to change the things you see need changing. Sometimes the power to change the things you didn’t even know needed to be changed.
And you can't get that grace if you never go to Him and ask for it. Whatever it is in your life, don't let it keep you away from Him.
I could have kept letting my week's choices (interchangeably "weak" choices) keep me away from God.
But I came to realize that it was just one of the many reasons why I needed Him so badly.