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When God Has Bigger Things In Mind
It was an unseasonably sunny day in April 2006. Dressed in shorts, I remember pacing around the east end of the deck that wraps around our Michigan home, nervously answering questions posed by a Palm Beach Atlantic University admissions counselor.
I was a Pepperdine rejection, unsure what to do about college. Despite early-action acceptance to Tulane, this was post-Katrina and service work to re-beautify the campus was necessary (God knows I didn’t want to do that). Other schools, like Quinnipiac, Chapman, and Loyola (to name a few) left me longing for other options.
“Why is God important to you?”
[Insert rambling/inane/incoherent response here]
In actuality, I mentioned the book of Revelation. I tied it to some factual, scientific reality–––the best I could do for a well-educated kid riding on his parents’ faith. Apparently, my response was good enough to get me in. All the while, God had bigger motives than I had been expecting because, truth be told, God didn’t want me at Pepperdine or Tulane or Michigan or any other school besides Palm Beach Atlantic University.
God’s bigger motives were news to me; I was clueless.
Despite my relative incredulity, God knew how he was transforming my life. He was busy placing strong men of his standard in my life to lead me and show me a better way. He was busy stripping me of all that wasn’t Him. He was preparing me to lead–––my lacrosse team, my fellow students, my coworkers, my future employees, my future wife, my future kids.
[quote]What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ[/quote]
Everything is a loss. It’s all rubbish–––Rubbish!–––compared to the greatness of knowing Christ. God had a plan. He had bigger things in mind.
When you’re new somewhere, people usually ask you how you’ve arrived.
To friends and family back home, it was simply, “Jayson is in Palm Beach.” In Palm Beach though, it wasn’t so easy–––I had to initially decode Palm Beach Atlantic University for most people–––
“Oh, you go to Florida Atlantic University?” “No.”
“Oh, you mean Palm Beach State College?” “No.”
But once we got that out of the way, the question usually returned to how I arrived at this tiny, private, Christian liberal arts university. For me, the answer was blind faith. I had never visited Palm Beach Atlantic; instead, I simply showed up in late August 2006 with a beach on my mind and a solid guy-to-girl ratio in my heart.
God wants us to trust him and act in blind faith.
Am I saying that college prospectives should never go on a campus visit do the Schmidt method? Of course not. That would be too smart (kidding).
What I am saying is this: if we allow ourselves to trust God completely and understand that he enables us to make decisions for our good and his glory, we can be fearless in making the right moves.
Did I know the ins-and-outs of everything that might unfold in the six years following my move? Again, of course not. But God wants us to be our very best for him, and nothing less. This requires blind faith.
You won’t ever have all of the answers. You’ll be confused, sometimes. You’ll pray for discernment and be confused even more still. You won’t know. You’ll question.
And that’s okay.
When God has bigger things in mind, we need to dive in. It’s our job to pray and walk in obedience–––and we don’t that by standing on the sidelines. If you’re struggling with that, pray to God that he would equip you with a mental blockade. One that pushes out any doubt and frees you to act.
Once there, get off the sidelines and dive head first into the future God has for you.
About Jayson SchmidtFounder of the Quarterlife movement. Building an empire for the glory of God and living my dream to make the name of Jesus famous. Get at me on Twitter (@JaysonSchmidt).
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Verse of the Week
––1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)