Picture this. It’s the middle of the semester and you’re waking up for one of your early classes. You’re tired, oh so tired, and you can barely drag yourself out of bed to take a shower. Far past the point of the shower actually being refreshing, you get out, throw on some clothes and meander off to class. You barely get there on time. As soon as you sit down, the class gets ready to pray for the morning. You bow your head but feel no connection. While everyone else talks to the Lord, you ask yourself, “When did God and I get so out of touch?”
College life is an amazing, crazy rush, but sometimes the projects and the deadlines pile up until you feel like you can’t focus on anything other than passing New Testament Literature. It’s completely normal and relatable. To me, it’s also a testament to how the Lord is so consistent in waiting for us to come back to Him and never turning His back on us. Here are some steps to keep your spiritual life ripe with promise and attention—even during the stresses of classes.
1. KEEP A CONTINUOUS CONVERSATION WITH GOD.
Not going to lie, I’m starting you out on a hard one. It may sound redundant that the best way to keep your relationship with God is to not stop talking with Him, but there’s a bit more to it than that. How often do we see conversations and prayers as a “check-in” with God where we tell Him about what we are doing and what He can do for us? Keeping a continuous conversation with God is much more difficult than that.
Every day we are faced with several challenges in the form of current events, societal issues and individual dilemmas that should shake us up a bit as Christians, and we need to go to Him with those challenges as soon as possible. In addition to that, we need to remember that we aren’t really in control of our lives and recognize our purpose for being here.
In Spiritual Formation, Professor Dekker taught me that there are no easy answers to the challenges Christians deal with and that the issues we face have merit. In other words, we need to spend time on them. These eternal questions that eat away at us, such as our ideas of self-identity, inquiries of situational morality and an understanding of one’s calling, need to be wrestled with on a daily basis. What better way is there to stay connected with God than to constantly ask Him questions?
2. SET ASIDE TIME TO PRAY.
The hardest part about this is being intentional. Much of the time, when someone feels out of sync with God, it is because they have not chosen to make time with Him a priority over things like spending time with friends.
While you are working on the first step of keeping a conversation with God, prioritizing prayer is a great way to work on drawing closer to God while you train your brain to engage with Him constantly throughout the day. There are a ton of ways to be proactive about this. Decide on a time and let your friends know that this is time you’re setting aside for the Lord. Maybe even consider putting together a class schedule with breaks you can dedicate to spending time with Him.
3. START A DAILY DEVOTIONAL.
There’s a lot that God can reveal to us when we give Him the time. Daily devotionals today are written with the knowledge that people have busy schedules. Chalk it up to the fast-paced life presented by America, but everyone understands the difficulties of making extra, intentional time.
If you’re having trouble with this step, maybe combine it with your time of prayer. It is incredibly important to not only feel in touch with God on a daily basis but to be learning and growing closer to understanding Him.
4. WORSHIP WITH YOUR FRIENDS.
Finally, keep in mind that not all of this has to be done alone. God gave us each other to help and grow with each other, and I believe there is much to gain from working together on the quest to relate with our Lord. Why not try using one of your best resources?
When I say worship, this doesn’t always have to be done in the traditional sense. You don’t need to break out the guitars and microphones every time you get together with friends. Instead, consider inviting them to join you in your daily practices. Together, you may just help remind each other of the work that needs to be done and the comfort that can be found together in the Lord.
There is no better place to pursue these ideas and a lifestyle with God than at a Christian university, in my opinion. If you would like to read why, download our free guide on why you should attend a Christian college.