Dear students,

I wish you knew how much I deeply care for each you. I can’t count the number of times I think of you each day and try to remember to pray for you… that God would keep you safe and protect you from the many wells you may seek to drink from that will not satisfy your soul. I pray that you would run to Him. I pray that your eyes would be opened to the glorious wonders of His beauty. I feel like I say it all the time, but I can’t emphasize enough how much more I am concerned with your heart than I am with your mind because I know that the heart is the lifeblood of the mind. You can give me the right answers all day long- some of you do- but in the end, I don’t care if you know all the answers. I only care that you know the one answer that really matters: the solution to your sin. And yes, I am directly stating that you are a fallen human being who is capable of unimaginable evil. “Wow, Ms. Carl…” I hear you say. But let me reassure you that I hold just as low (if not lower) a view of my own heart. I know how enticing the world looks to you, especially at this stage of life… but I long for you to see it for what it truly is: temporary. Fleeting. Unsatisfactory. You will spend your life one of two ways; you will either seek to know and love the God who loved you first or you will seek the pleasures that are quickly passing. You will spend your life chasing one or the other. Please child, chase what lasts! I can all but beg that you would run toward Him, but I recognize my limitations in influencing your decision while also acknowledging the role His sovereign hand must play in regenerating your heart and transforming your mind. I see your eyes roll and your face stiffen. You’ve heard it a thousand times. “I know, I know, I know!” You tell me. But how often do your actions align with the knowledge you claim to possess? If I say that I know eating tar isn’t good for me and it will make me sick but I go on eating it, do I truly know how harmful it is? How easily and effectively we belittle the most important aspects of life while making light of matters that have eternal significance. All I can do is try to point you to the One who is better. Better than another person. Better than another thing. Better than whatever it is you think your soul desires more than Him. I say this to myself just as much, if not more, than I say it to you. Chase Him. Run to the One who ran before you. This path will be filled with suffering, but you will never be asked to suffer as Christ suffered. You will face rejection and ridicule. You will likely feel out of place most of (if not all) the time. The world will never love you. Your belief will never be popular. This is a promise you can be sure of. But just as well, you can be sure that this life, along with all of its pain and sorrow, will not last forever. Thank God, it will not last forever. My heart’s longing and my soul’s desire is that, when you stand before your Maker and give an account for the life you lived, you will hear the words “Well done, My good and faithful servant” and you will live forever.

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