I'm back home in Topeka now, sipping at a Mountain Dew, eating the Nutty Bars that Charlie forgot in our dorm room, and watching reruns of the Cosby Show. In other words, summer is already in full swing. For those that don't know, I'll be bumming around T-Town for the next week before I start a youth ministry internship at University Christian Church in Manhattan (Kansas, not New York. I'm not hardcore enough for that.) I'm really pumped about the internship and will covet any prayers you feel like sending God's way for me.
I don't really remember going to school this semester. I mean, obviously I was there, but I have no clue how it went so fast. It feels like I was in Honduras yesterday, but that was two months ago. But at the same time, this semester has seemed like a long one. It had to have been ages ago since Charlie, Ryan, and I watched all five Planet of the Apes movies on the projector, but it was just in January. So the semester has been both long and short. I'm not an expert in science, but I thought time was supposed to progress somewhat linearly, but the last four months have felt like more of a zig-zag.
I miss freshman year sometimes. It was so simple. I remember thinking at that time, "Man, college is so much crazier than high school." But I now realize that it really wasn't all that crazy. Sure, I was busy, but somehow I still had time to watch a couple episodes of Smallville pretty much every night, and I played a lot of basketball and ate pizza and took naps. That kind of time didn't exist this semester. After every semester, I think, "Man, that semester was out of control. I can't imagine it getting worse than that." But then the next semester is always just more out of control than the last one, and every year I realize that I have less of a grip on things.
When I handed in my Life of Christ final on Friday morning, I put a stamp on my junior year at Ozark. That means that I'm now a senior. (Technically, since I'm getting a five-year degree, I'm a "middler." Semantics.) Truth be told, I really have no business being a college senior. One would think that by this time, I would have my act together at least a little bit. But what I'm sadly realizing is that I haven't really matured much since high school. I still like ska. I still wear denim shorts. I can't cook anything that isn't microwavable. That's not maturity. A mature person is one that has an apartment and a job and pays bills and wears ties. I don't do any of those things.
But maybe that vision of maturity is skewed. I've seen people who are "independent" and look like they know what's going on. But then they still think it's cool to go get trashed on the weekend. They think the brand on their clothing tags is worth racking up debt. They backstab their friends and coworkers and whoever else in order to get ahead. And I don't think that's what maturity looks like, either.
When it comes down to it, I think that true maturity is found in true wisdom. Wisdom is knowing the right thing to do and then doing it. It's not about being "out on your own." It's not putting yourself over the rules because you're "an adult" now. It's about not being an idiot. It's about allowing yourself to be molded into Christ's image. It's about treating people respectfully, handling situations discerningly, and thinking reasonably.
So maybe maturity is something more than seemingly having life figured out. In the meantime, it's probably okay that I live in a dorm and have meals prepared for me. Might as well take advantage of it while I can, right? You're only young once. So I'll sleep in till noon, eat cereal for dinner, and watch youtube videos for hours on end. I can be older tomorrow.