Looking Back: Depth

It’s vacation time for the Greenwalds and I’m down in Mexico with my four favorite people in the world for some much needed rest and relaxation. With this extra time, I want to write. For me, a huge part of processing is writing. A lot happened this last semester that needs processing and I’m going to try to do that this week.

Yesterday, I wrote probably the heaviest blog I’ve written. It wasn’t a lot of fun, nor should it have been. The rest of this week, I’m going to write about a much happier subject, college.

My favorite thing about college is the depth. The depth of friendships, the depth of course material, and the depth of my relationship with God, it couldn’t be more different than high school. Mr. Mooney told me that something happens after high school graduation that makes kids grow up. You start realizing that you’re on your own now. You have to make major decisions that will change your life. This realization changes you. It’s evident on the looks of people’s faces during orientation. You want to be here. You want to learn, grow, and connect. You want to go deep.

The depth of friendships is a direct result of this change that occurs when you throw that pointy hat in the air. When I showed up at Baylor, I knew a handful of people there. WIth a few exceptions, I was friendless.

Coming from high school, a place where I had great relationships with the people around me, making friends was the first thing on my mind and the minds of the people around me. Within this desire, the people I met and I knew we had to be intentional. In college, you don’t have the amount of time to just let friends happen like you could before. This intentionality results in depth. I’ve got friends at school who I know better after four months than people I was friends with for years in Ames.

Knowing someone is a prerequisite to being able to love them well. They don’t necessarily know the name of my dog or what street I live on or how many siblings I have, but they know what I’m passionate about, who I live to serve, and how to communicate to me that I’m loved. I’ve got friends who love me well at Baylor, and I’m grateful for the depth I’ve found there. I’ll write more on them later on in the week.

The depth in the classroom is also a result of the change that happens at graduation. People start to realize that some of the stuff the professor writes on the board is important for what they want to do down the road. They start finding classes interesting and begin to engage with the material.

Courses dive deeper into things, getting past the “how” questions and asking the more meaningful “why” question. More is learned, and more is retained. The weirdest part and the most meaningful indicator of the newfound depth is that you actually enjoy it. Not a lot, don’t get ahead of yourself, but a little bit.

The depth of my relationship with God changed this semester. Setting out for Waco, it was me and God. I didn’t have mom and dad holding my hand, and I didn’t have an extensive support system right there for me that I was blessed with in high school. The result of that was times of loneliness. There were times this semester where I felt alone.

In those times, I turned to God. I don’t say that to sound self-righteous, because I didn’t have a choice. Being alone and 800 miles away helped me understand that idea of God as my Rock and my Foundation. When the other things, friends, family, home, felt distance and wasn’t there, I depended on my Rock and my Foundation more than I’ve ever had to. That led to depth, depth into the loving expanse of his eternal goodness.

Stephen Curtis Chapman wrote a song called “Dive”

we will never know the awesome power
Of the grace of God
Until we let ourselves get swept away
Into this holy flood
So if you’ll take my hand
We’ll close our eyes and count to three
And take the leap of faith
Come on let’s go

I’m diving in, I’m going deep in over
my head, I want to be
Caught in the rush, lost in the flow,
in over my head, I want to go
The river’s deep, the river’s wide,
the river’s water is alive

So sink or swim, I’m diving in

I’m in over my head and I love it. College is deep.