“Foggy First Day: Starting a New Semester” by Andy Stearns

Today was quite foggy. Iowa isn’t known for fog like some more pacific and northwestern locations. We might have fog once or twice. But today it was really foggy. Looking across the campus was a challenge. One new student even got turned around in the fog and new surroundings, and was slightly late to class. Nevertheless, it looked like a bigger obstacle than it really was. Sure it was hard to see. But following well-marked paths on campus was the sure way to find your class. And by the end of the first hour, most of the fog had lifted.

As I reflect on the fog this morning, I can’t help but think about it as a metaphor for a new school year. For the incoming freshman class, most of this semester is unknown. Not having the experiences of the upperclassmen means that everything is new and different. But even for upperclassman, a new year of classes is still just that, new. Fog captures the experience of the unknown-but-not-totally-unknown of our lives. Seeing a few feet ahead, but not seeing the final destination, can be a bit fearful. The new school year is filled with these kinds of unknowns. What kind of friends will I make? How difficult will my classes be? What will the team be like? How will I find a job? A church? And of course the major question on every college student’s mind, what will I do when I grow up?

Thankfully, just as there are people on a college campus who know where all the buildings are because they have worked there for years, so the Lord knows the future of our lives. He’s perfectly knowledgable and aware of all that has not yet been, but will be. He knows what will happen in your today and your tomorrow. Nothing takes Him by surprise, even though we are surprised all the time. And just like there are well-marked paths on college campuses that direct you to your next class, so the Word of God always directs us to what God wants for our life.

Whether you’re beginning a new semester, or just walking into something unknown in life, remember that God already knows. He’s been aware of that unknown since eternity past. He loves His children. And we can always trust in Him. His Word is the sure and certain path that we are wise to follow if we want to live a life that pleases Him. Even when that life is filled with unknowns.

Have a great semester. Study and learn so that you can grow in the Lord and serve Him all your days.

Proverbs 3:5-6,
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths

Proverbs 20:24,
24 Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord,
How then can man understand his way?

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24,
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

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