The summer after my freshman year of college is forever engraved in my mind.
There were some good memories from that summer — but mostly I remember the setbacks I endured.
During my freshman year, my eyes were opened to seeing Jesus Christ as a living person for the first time. I had found myself on fire with love of God. I knew that I was personally loved by God, something I had never before experienced in my life. That summer after my freshman year, I went back home unprepared to meet the resistance I would face to live the life in Christ which I had started.
The devil is real, and he is “roaring around like a lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). But the devil didn’t have to work too hard on me, because I didn’t have a plan.
As the former UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, says, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And so I did. I fell on my face and lost much of the fire that I had from my freshman year.
Don’t worry, it wasn’t the end of the story. God is merciful. And when you fail, you can get back up and God can make you stronger than you were before.
In the future, I started to make a plan to help me take steps forward in the summer, spiritual goals that I could accomplish
Here are five questions to help you stay the course this summer:
1. Where and when will you pray?
2. Where and when will you go to Mass and Confession?
3. What will be your spiritual reading?
4. Who will be your Christ-centered friends?
5. Who will you evangelize?
Maybe you have read Kevin Cotter’s post from last May. He talks about several of these points above and gives some tips for how to form your game plan. In the next several weeks, my friend Mark Bartek and I would like to build on these questions and Kevin’s post to help you formulate your game plan. For now, start praying over the above questions and talk it over with a friend or a mentor.
God has an amazing plan for your life. This summer, you have the opportunity to fall more in love with Him and live in the greatness into which He is calling you. You still may fall along the way — but don’t be discouraged. Get back up and begin again. God is walking with you and will always pick you back up, heal you and restore you in His grace. This new way of living will take root in your heart. God is so happy that you’re even willing to step out on the field with a game plan this summer.
Stay tuned for the upcoming post that’ll help you plan when and where to pray!