Thousands of college students attended life changing conferences over winter break. Tons of catholic students spent their time in San Antonio, Texas at SEEK and others in Oklahoma City at SMC. Each student came back with pictures, memories, and new friends. Some students even came back with a new perspective and a fire in their heart. They have a new found passion for Christ and have seen him in a way they never have before. But how long is this passion going to last? The hardest thing to learn is that you can’t have a heart for Christ and also have a heart for the world. You can’t claim to be a lover and a follower of Christ and still participate in what society thinks is acceptable. Jesus spread his arms on a cross and died for you. He died for YOU. When you choose to follow Him and when you choose to accept him into your heart, you also choose to die to the ways of your old life. You can’t get drunk every weekend, party so hard you blackout, sleep around, run around half naked, and please everyone who walks into your life when you choose to follow Christ. So why would we choose to follow someone who takes away all the fun? Someone who has so many rules? Doesn’t he WANT us to have lives? But a relationship with Christ is SO much more than “rules” and “no fun”, it’s the most satisfying thing out there. When we allow ourselves to die to the things of this world, they become less and less satisfying as time goes on. They become less attractive and easier to pass up. Our goal on this Earth is not to increase our alcohol tolerance, become the beer pong champ for the 25th time in a row, or see how drunk you can be before 11am. It’s not about how many people you have slept with or what age you lost your virginity. Our goal is to be good stewards of the Lord who teach others about Him, who saves others. We are not meant to live on this Earth forever, we are meant for an eternity in Heaven. Life is not guaranteed and we don’t have time to figure it out. I have lost dear friends to car accidents, drunk driving, and other unfortunate events. Young friends who thought they had time to have fun before they even thought about the God thing. Throughout high school and now college, my heart has ached over this subject. I was always the odd ball out. The girl who didn’t drink, go to frat parties, or hooked up with random guys. I was always the girl who was made fun of and bullied because I chose to go against society’s standards. Eventually I became the girl who lost close friends and even a significant other because I didn’t want “the typical college life.” I was the girl who was left in the dust and replaced with someone who wanted to be a part of this world. Choosing Christ is not easy and some days it is really hard. Some days you wonder if it’s really worth it and you wonder why you weren’t like the others who didn’t care. But then you see the miracles and the mercies of the one who created you, and it makes it all worth it. So, I encourage you to die to this life and take hope in your new life with Christ.