While I’m excited for the whole new crop of fall series, there’s one I’ve been waiting for more than any other. Golden Time is based on a light novel by Yuyuko Takemiya, who wrote Toradora!, which is my very favorite series. And the first episode this new show didn’t disappoint – it was no clone of Toradora, though some of what made that series so wonderful in my mind is already peeking through for Golden Time.
I’m immediately drawn to all the new characters, including the lead, Banri Tada, a freshman student at a university. As he enters college, it really feels like a new world for him. The comparison to the life of a new Christian (one coming from outside the Christian community – in other words, not having grown up in a Christian home) was obvious to me, particularly through Tada’s own words:
I can make new friends, stay in a new place, live in a new world..
For new Christians, all these things are true as well. Coming to Christ means making new friends (acclimating to your new church family), staying in a new place (finding a physical church home), and living in a new world (learning about Christ and Christianity).
Certainly, all this can be overwhelming for a new Christian, as entering college is for Tada. And because of all the change, some new Christians will struggle, as some college students do. And so for new Christians, the essential question becomes about what happens “once you’re in.”
What are you going to go once you’re saved?
The unfortunate fact in this – many new believers come in burning bright as a flame, but eventually fall away. I’ve seen it many times. But don’t take my word for it – look what Christ says about some new converts:
A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root…The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
– Matthew 13:3-6, 20-21 (NIV)
In Golden Time, I’m certain that Tada will adjust, even as difficulties come. Real life transitions, of course, aren’t always smooth. And that’s where fellow believers come in.
While the ultimately responsibility for one’s spiritual life depends on that person, that doesn’t mean the church should stand aside and let someone battle trials and difficulties alone. Quite the opposite, obviously – it’s up to fellow believers to reach out to new ones, grasping them tightly with the love of Christ, helping to nurture them as they grow in knowledge and relationship with the LORD.
That’s what I implore Christian readers to do. Don’t live within yourself – we were never meant to do that. Reach out to others in love, demonstrating what Christ modeled for us on the cross, a sacrificial, powerful, merciful love that new no bounds. And as you do so, you might be that person who helps someone transition from “high school life” (without God) to “college” (with God), making a bigger impact that you imagine.