Caution: Boomerangers Coming to Town

September 8, 2010

Freshman. Those cute, idealistic 17 and 18-year-olds that falsely believe a college acceptance letter is an invitation to four years of freedom, experimentation, sex and some education. (Five years seems to be the norm). Watching them bumble around campus makes me feel old — the boys are, for the most part, hairless and concave — but they also bring me back to the Bible.

Many factions of the religious community are desperately trying to bring young people back to the church (If you need “facts,” click the USA Today link and In fact, this weekend marks the annual National Back to Church Sunday, which seeks the obvious — increasing congregants.

Some people think liberal professors, outside influences and parents are to blame for the fleeing youth. I made my own uninformed judgments in “Dusting Off the Pew,” but really, we all just need to chill out, read the Psalms and watch college students. We all return to our roots. We’re all boomerangers. Some boom to God, others boom to parents but the four-step process is essentially the same.

1. The Separation

Man leaves God. Kid leaves parents. Both feel the same. They just have different experiences.

Psalm: “All of my bones are out of joint; my heart is like melted wax. My throat is as dry as dust and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.”

(If you do not understand how this relates to college, please view the video below).

Psalm: “Because I have been foolish, my sores stink and rot.”

(“I was wasted” is a poor excuse)

Psalm: “You love to hurt people with your words, you liar!”

(Texts from Last Night)

2. The Discovery

Like the man in the psalms, college students also explore. They trend away from Christianity and harp playing and toward Buddhism, hallucination and guitars.

Psalm: “Indeed every living man is no more than a puff of wind, no more than a shadow.”

(Keep puffing)

Psalm: “See what happens to those who trust in themselves, the fate of those who are satisfied with their wealth — they are doomed to die like sheep.”


Psalm: “I will never be deflated.”

(Enjoy your senior year)

3. The Revelation

Biblically, this is when the fallen tear their clothes and stop washing their hair.  Academics refer to this as “graduation” or “defeat.”

Psalm: “Wake up and punish the heathen.”

(Get a job).

4. The Return

One is back to God, the other is back in the basement.

Psalm: “I have trusted in you since I was young. I have relied on you all my life; you have protected me since the day I was born. I will always praise you.”

(Can I please live here until the economy rebounds?)

Psalm: “I cling to you, and your hands keep me safe.”

(I need food and gas money)

In some capacity, we all return to our roots be it location, religion or politics but as my mother would say, be careful what you wish for.

“…a survey of last year’s college graduation class showed that 80 percent moved back home after getting their diplomas, up significantly from the 63 percent in 2006. The survey of 2,000 young people showed that seven in 10 said they would live at home until they found a job.” — Huffington Post

Boomerangers: Meet College Grads Who Have Moved Back Home (VIDEO)

(College graduate Sarah Allen talks about life at home. Worth watching.)

Church leaders. Do you really think you can accommodate an 80 percent increase in congregants? How big is your basement?

Stopping Point: More Psalms

Editor’s Note: This particular entry is loosely based on my experiences  at the University of Colorado, which ranked No. 11 on “Princeton Review’s Top Party Colleges for 2010.” Whoop! Just kidding. It’s a fiction tale based on the formative years of my CU sorority sisters.


2 Responses to “Caution: Boomerangers Coming to Town”

  1. Kevin Shaw said

    I gotta hand it to you…that was brilliant. My son left for college today. Very apropos. Thanks.

  2. We’re as set as we can be this weekend – a good portion of the student’s already came back last weekend, but this one is going to be massive. We’ve already outgrown our meeting space, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens this year.

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