If I have been walking closely with the Lord Jesus Christ, if I have been giving top priority to “the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” if I have been praying sincerely, “Thy will be done,” then I am a student at this college not primarily because I chose to come here but because God chose to have me do so.

God is sovereign. This means that he is at work in the affairs of men. In my affairs. He has a plan for my life, and that plan includes the college I am to attend. “He doeth according to his will … among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand.”

God’s plan is very complex; no human mind can begin to comprehend it all. We know, however, that it calls for the participation of human beings. The Bible suggests several aspects of the answer to my question, “Why am I at this school?”

For one thing, I am at this school because the Lord desires to receive a product to which he is entitled. He wants a fair return on his investment in this world. Recall Isaiah 5:1–7 and the analogy with the vineyard: God, the vineyard planter, is entitled to an abundant harvest of high quality.

Second, college provides a good milieu for God to work on me; like an artisan with crude material, he chisels and molds a personality that will be conformed to the image of his Son. As he goes about this business of making me like Jesus Christ, he will send a variety of experiences my way and expose me to diverse situations and people. There will be discouraging periods to strengthen my faithfulness, irritating situations to develop my patience, sorrows to help me lean on him for comfort, defeats to smash my pride, joys to remind me that all good things in life are from his hand.

But whatever comes my way this year, may I remember that if ...

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