If you could write a letter to yourself as you started uni, what would you say?
You’ve made it, well sort of. What has been the best part of a 14-year quest to achieve top grades at A level in order to attend Oxbridge, or another hallowed red brick institution of higher education (Bristol will have to do for now) is at an end.
What next? Become someone new? Continue along the path you are already on? For if you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got and you’ve done alright thus far.
The most important thing to know is this, it isn’t a what it is a who.
Other folks will tell you to make a truly great friend, fulfil your academic potential and get a first, fulfil your sporting potential and play for the 1st team, forgive your father, love your family well even though you’re far away, start saving as soon as possible, don’t commit to living with the people you met on the 2nd night of fresher’s week, actually eat some vegetables, join the 100 club, steer clear of any substance that Joffy from Harrow can get you from his dealer up in London, say yes to lots of adventures, maybe even fall in love with a beautiful girl, have sex with scores of others, prepare for your career early and leave with no regrets.
However, even if you achieve it all I can guarantee it won’t fix you. It won’t satisfy that secret longing; it won’t quiet that aching for something more; for meaning; for unconditional love; for worth; for glory; for hope; for something of real value; for something that will endure; for real answers; for forgiveness; for home.
That very thing which you can’t put your finger on but you know confronts you in the uncomfortable silence when you have the courage to let it, is leading you somewhere. To a person. You know his name but you do not know him, nor have you met him or encountered him.
Do not delay! Have the courage to seek him with your whole heart while he may be found and call on him while he is near. The greatest discovery and the noblest pursuit will lead you through internal wrangling and intellectual questioning. It may cost you a friend, some tears or even your carefully crafted reputation. You may confront a little bit of scoffing and mocking along the way but press on.
Start with holy scriptures, just pick it up and read it. It might make you wise for salvation. Let him speak through it and encounter you in it. Let him convict you and cleanse you, let it tell you who he is and who you are. Let it throw you down hopeless, helpless and harassed. Let it pick you up healed, whole and holy.
When you find him (well actually he finds you) and you will find him for all who seek him with a humble and contrite heart find him, devote your life to showing other wandering pilgrims the way.