During my university open house, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the sheer volume and diversity of options one can explore during university life. It is probably the usual thing for most students to do – join various programmes, CCAs and Interest Groups, mixing and matching different combinations to enhance your portfolio in order to stand out as the most suitable candidate for your ideal job or to enhance your university “experience”.
Amidst the allure of the world, I was tempted to drop my commitment to SYFC and service in the church to pursue more of these worldly pleasures. However, at our Christian Fellowship Freshman Orientation Camp, God reminded me of his truth in 1 Peter. Reading through the whole book, it was not just one verse but the whole theme of ‘Living as Exiles” in this world that struck me.
An exile has been banished from their country of origin, often by force. While having to live and integrate into the country of residence, he often desires to eventually return to his country of origin. Likewise, I was reminded in 1 Peter, that I am living in exile on earth, thus my desires and passions cannot be for the things of this world but for the heavenly city and the presence of Christ my Lord and Saviour.
While living like an exile doesn’t mean not studying at all or not interacting with non-Christians, it certainly means my framework of thinking and my actions have to be geared towards the glory of God, and be actively warring against the desires of my sinful body. Even though living for Christ is tough, the promise of that eternal city and redemption sealed by His blood is so much more satisfying than anything this world can give.