Choosing a college is a very big decision. You know it, because you've probably heard it over and over again. You know your choice will have a huge effect on the next four years of your life—and beyond. And so you want to choose wisely. But how? Well, let's take a look at a man in the Bible who had to make a ton of decisions.
Solomon was the king of Israel, which meant he had to make choices all the time, choices that affected lots of people. His position of power was quite different from our government leaders today, as his was the final word. No one could challenge his authority. While many ancient kings loved having that kind of power, Solomon felt overwhelmed by such a huge responsibility. In 1 Kings 3:7-9 he told God he felt like a little child, incapable of ruling over so many people. And so he prayed that God would give him a "discerning heart to govern…and to distinguish between right and wrong." The verses that follow say God was pleased that Solomon asked for wisdom, and so he gave it to him. In fact, Solomon became famous for his great wisdom.
So what can we learn from Solomon? First of all, he acknowledged his need for wisdom. He knew that without it he would never be a successful leader. Second, he turned to God because he knew God was the ultimate source of wisdom.
God, of course, answered Solomon's prayer, and the book of James tells us that God will always answer our prayers for wisdom: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind" (James 1:5-6).
When it comes to the college choice, God wants to guide you in making your decision. That doesn't mean he's going to flash the answer across the sky like a bolt of lightning. It does, however, mean that if you ask him, he will give you the wisdom you need to make a good choice.
But when you ask, "believe and don't doubt," as James advises. See, it's a matter of trust. Do you trust God? Do you believe down deep that he loves you and has the best in mind for you? Do you believe he has the power to answer your prayers for wisdom and that he's promised he will do it?
Sometimes we may doubt God's ability and his faithfulness when we think about our own seemingly unanswered prayers. But were they really unanswered? Have you ever thought that maybe the answer was simply "no"? Perhaps now, as you look back, you can see why God's "no" was better for you. Or maybe you still don't understand. Whatever the case, understand this: God sees the big picture, knowing what's best for you in the long run. So you can trust that the way he answers is always good.
Understanding that God wants the best for you can bring peace to your decision-making process. And as long as you're trying to follow God, don't worry that you'll make a bad college choice. If you're truly seeking him first, he will guide you and help you make the wisest decision possible. After all, he promised.