Welcome back, everyone! I’m sure most of you are starting to settle down and establish your routines for the semester. Hopefully you have been able to sort through the plethora of assignments located within your syllabi and have not suffered from shock. I’m still trying to figure out my schedule, and this is my fourth year here, so no worries if you still need to get a little more organized.
I figured the best way for me to start off this column would be with some kind of introduction. If you haven’t noticed, I am not the same person who has been writing the “Just Sayin’” column the past two years. Becca graduated last year, and Cedars was apparently so desperate for someone to write they asked me to. Just kidding. There were plenty of people more than capable enough to write, and I am honored to have been given the position.
If you could not tell from anywhere else on the page, my name is Erik Johnson. I am a senior journalism/public relations major, and I also compete on the track team at Cedarville. On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons I am a custodian in Brock, which has been a very humbling experience. I find myself praying a lot more during my shift.
Here are a few more fun facts: When I was three, I jumped off our video cabinet and broke my arm. When I was four, I rolled a watermelon down the basement steps and it exploded about halfway down. It was super cool, and I was too little to have to clean it up, so I would go back and do it again if I had the choice. I used to climb monkey bars and get stuck halfway, and I would just hang there yelling for my mom until she would come save me. I also enjoy going backpacking and hope to take on the Appalachian Trail one day and then maybe the Pacific Crest Trail. But who knows.
My hope for the column is for it to be an encouragement to you throughout the school year. At times I may try to throw in a funny story or two just to make you smile. Some other entries may be much more serious. Most of it may just be what happens to be on my mind at the time I am writing, and that’s OK. Some of our best thoughts occur when we aren’t really trying to come up with them.
To wrap up this month’s column I would like to leave you all with just a few reminders:
First, keep Jesus in the center of everything. Your friends will let you down at times. Cedarville will let you down at times. We all make mistakes. But if you base your faith on Jesus rather than people, you will have an anchor for those hard times in your life. It’s OK to doubt when life is tough. But in your questioning, remember there is an absolute truth.
Second, as Dr. Brown used to say, “You will not become tomorrow what you are not making yourself today.” Who is it that you want to be in ten years? Fifteen? Twenty? You will not become that person by playing video games until four in the morning or bombarding social media with Pumpkin Spice Latte selfies. Don’t assume you can just wake up one day and everything will be exactly as you planned without doing any of the work. Start working toward that goal today.
Third, make your faith your own. Most of us no longer live with our parents or in the same area as our mentors from back home. Now is the time to test your faith and to see if you really believe what you have claimed all these years. Ask questions. Search wholeheartedly. Our God is much bigger than the boxes we all try to fit him into. Know what you believe. Know why you believe it. And live like you believe it.
Fourth, enjoy your time here. Freshmen, it goes by so fast. You’ll hear it from everyone, but you won’t believe it until you’re sitting at your desk three years later wondering when you became a senior. Make this a time you can look back on with fond memories. You make your own experience, so make it a great one.