Back to School: Welcome to Your Blank Slate

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

To the class of 2027.


You’ve patiently continued your secondary schooling or community college classwork, preparing for this day. You have moved in, unpacked, met your roommates, maybe started making friends, said goodbye to your family (that’s a difficult one), and, yep, here you are, staring at the ceiling, trying to fall asleep after this momentous whirlwind day.

Please, Lord

Let me rest. I close my eyes, but my brain is on fire.

I see and hear everything. Someone is crying, somewhere. I want to, too, but I won’t.

I am in a strange bed, but I am an adult now, so that shouldn’t matter.

I see my home, my family, my neighbors, my friends. But they seem so far away.

I am alone. In the midst of a lot of people. But I am alone.

Please help me.

That likely is your first night. But it does get better.

You will make friends (if you are uncomfortable with that, please, ask your Resident Advisor whom to talk to about that-do it sooner than later).

You will figure out where you’re supposed to be and when for your classes. You are on your own, but never alone.

You will learn subject matter, to be sure, but you’ll also learn about life, faith, love, and commitment.

You are starting down the path, which is your journey, your “blank slate”. It is yours and yours alone. The beauty of this journey is that it is not just yours, alone. The Lord is by your side every day, through the highs and lows, during the fun times, and serious ones, and, at your lowest moment, He is there to lift you up, to not be afraid. God willing, you will look back at Commencement and walk one last time as a student and say, “Thank you, My God. Here’s my completed work, my full ‘slate’. By Your grace, I am on my way to spread Your love in this world as Your faithful servant.”

But it is not the end … it is your personal beginning. And what’s ahead will be wonderful.

Let’s get this journey started!!!

Michael Throop