Over the weekend, I was watching some birds eating bread crumbs. They were all jumping around and pecking the food. They had no worries.
“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” Matthew 6:26.
The University life can have some very demanding moments that bring stress and worries.
Exams and GPA requirements, fraternity and sorority rushes, winning expectations for sports teams, hopes of tenure, balancing personal life and preparing a curriculum that will challenge and be rewarding for students, are all stressful issues concerning people around campus.
These are all concerns that are present and each and every one of them requires work on our part as well as trust in God and his divine providence.
The place we can stall out is when we can’t seem to see the end of our work or a scene from the future that fits our desire. The little birds went about their day without concern and we, no matter how much of an uphill battle it may be, need to remember that God is with us, and go on with no concern.
Reading the story Jesus told in Matthew’s Gospel about the love God has for all of his creation – in caring for the needs and giving the means in which we will obtain them – a sense of reassurance emerges and we know that we are going to be OK.
Walking around campus, it won’t take long to hear about the work students need to get done and the lack of time that is available to them.
Overworking and overbooking is not very responsible and a time comes when we have to take a deep breath and relax. Deep breaths and calmness will add a needed ingredient to the mountain climbing feat that is all squished in to one semester.
We can get so caught up in the frills and ribbons of this chapter of our lives that we are not focused and we lose concentration. We forget the words in Matthew’s Gospel: “Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Matthew 6:25.
Students have all sorts of worries and thoughts going through their heads. “I have to get in to this frat or sorority because I will be a loser if I don’t,” or “If I don’t go to this party and drink and smoke people won’t like me,” or “If I tell my parents that I don’t want to be in this major, they will be angry.”
Some address expectations of society and peers, “If I don’t have sex, my partner will leave me,” or “If I tell them I’m gay, they will hate me.”
All these real-life issues that can bog down our minds can be released with one thought – God loves you. No matter who likes you, no matter how impossible life seems to be at the moment, God loves you.
We are so caught up in the future that we miss the present, and that’s sad. Enjoy a balanced life that contains the proper amount of relaxation and work.
Learning how to do it can be tricky, and I sometimes struggle with saying “No” to either one of them. But, focus on allowing this time of life to be one that you enjoy and let this be a lesson in discovery.
Discovering yourself is a time to reflect and look deep inside and see the “real you,” not the “show you.”
What is important and why? What will this all mean in five years, 10 years and 20 years from now? What are my motives?
These are some very tough questions to ask and respond to honestly. But one thing will always be constant in life and that is God’s love. He will get you through all the moments of life; and when the dust settles, it is his affirmation that we need to seek. God’s way is best.
Trust in the love God has by taking a moment to watch a bird eat, or fly and land in a tree. Look for the leaves on the trees and think about the miracle that takes place in the leaf and tree every second and how it goes unnoticed. Gaze up at the night sky on a clear night and see the vastness and the countless stars and in all of these things God is present so, worry not.
“I turned my mind to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the sum of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness which is madness.” Ecclesiastes 7:25.