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Neon light spelling: but first,

Follow your dreams?

What to do after university?

At my graduation ceremony, I heard great words of advice in various speeches. And lots of people also told me that what mattered most was following my dreams.

The trouble with ‘following your dreams’ is that you’re trusting yourself to know what’s best.

And do I?

Do I know which way to go?

One fact blows my priorities out the water:

We believe in Jesus Christ our Lord.

‘Lord’ is loaded with meaning. It speaks of Jesus, who came among His people in the flesh, who died and rose again, who is now seated with all authority at the right hand of God the Father. And  He is our Lord: we pledge our whole selves to Him.

The apostle Paul writes in Romans 14:

‘For none of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and returned to life for this: that he might be Lord over both the dead and the living.’ – Romans 14:7-9

We belong to Him. And that truth makes a world of difference.

Paul wrote these words to check the Roman church’s priorities.Some of them considered it more spiritual to eat one way or another or observe certain days in the calendar. But Paul said that what matters most is whether these things are done ‘for the Lord’ (Romans 14:6). It wasn’t how they chose to worship that mattered as much as why they chose it.

And so, with us. Of course, whatever you choose to do after university does matter! But not as much as how you choose to live — or who you choose to live for.

It’s liberating! Suddenly there isn’t a hierarchy of choices or a ‘right answer’ in what to do.

When I forget that He is Lord, fears rise to the surface: I fear missing out on what I want, on what life could be. But when I remember that I belong to Him, my heart changes: I’m more concerned with what honours Him, serves His kingdom, builds His church, and how I can love my neighbor as He does. I trust Jesus commands my destiny and provides my needs – ten, twenty, sixty years on!

As a fresher, I saw UCCF’s History in the Making video. It had the anthem When I Survey playing in the background. Listening to the words of that hymn as I watched the stories of students who had given their all for God over the years made a lasting impression on me. In contrast to the graduation speeches suggesting I follow my dreams, the iconic last line of that hymn still paints the most compelling vision:

Love so amazing,

so divine,

demands my soul,

my life, my all.

This blog post is part of our 'God as...' series. Knowing God, who He is and what He's like, utterly transforms our lives. We're exploring different aspects of God's character and how that impacts the ways that we live and speak for Jesus. 

This week's blog was written by Fearghal Kelly, who studied psychology in Portsmouth, where he now lives working as a Staff Worker for CUs in Portsmouth (UK’s mostly densely populated city) and Chichester (UK’s sunniest city).

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