Calm in the Storm

This week is the first week back to college for me. It probably is for most other college students as well. This time of year is a little crazy. There is the excitement of a new season in our lives. A new semester. A blank canvas. I am feeling a mix of emotions this week. I am obviously excited. I love learning and a new semester is an opportunity to learn so much more. I am a little scared, that is for sure. This semester promises to be my hardest yet. Six classes. That does not sound like a lot to those of us not in college, but six classes is a lot. Especially for engineers. My classes will prove to be tougher and are a little daunting right now. I am a little anxious. I want to get into the rhythm of things. My girlfriend is sick right now and I am afraid that it will pass along to me. I hate being sick. Well anyways, that is a lot of emotions. There is a lot to process. I feel like it is easy to get a little overloaded and burnt out on seeing so many people every day. As I go through this season in life there has been three things I have had to remind myself of.

Make space for God. For me it is easy to get wrapped up in the little things. I can spend every waking hour immersed in learning and doing. I involve myself in everything that holds my interest. Somehow I also seem to end up in a leadership position in all of those things too. I feel personally responsible for a lot every day. As I wrap myself up in responsibilities it is way to easy for me to forget what’s most important. I forget God. I know that God longs for relationship with me. He longs to hear from me. Too often I leave him sitting waiting. I make a promise to read every day. I make a promise to do devotionals, then I leave God sitting. Even in this I know that He still waits for me. That is the saddest part to me. I can just picture Him sitting on the chair in my room. Waiting. Every morning, where we used to talk there He sits. He watches me rush around because I got up late. He watches me as I watch Netflix before bed. He sits and watches. Waiting. I don’t know about you, but this reality hurts. I have resolved that this year I will not leave Jesus waiting. I won’t leave him sitting on that chair. I will try to connect and bring Him with me everywhere I go.

Take time for yourself. I often forget this one. I think of myself as a servant first. I always want to help others. I always want to be there when people need me, but I forget that I can’t be there for people if I don’t invest in myself some first. I have to make sure I am doing alright in school. I have to make sure that my health is OK and that I am like eating and things. A big one for me is investing in my mental health. If I neglect that I fall apart. This looks different for everyone. I am definitely an extrovert, so this means that I don’t spend a lot of time alone, but I do cherish the moments I do have to myself. Every week I try to take time to clean up my room and clean up my mind. This means doing some laundry and some journaling. For me it is just as important to pick up my surrounding as it is to tidy up all the craziness in my brain. If I don’t take time to organize it quickly becomes a traffic jam in there. So do what you need to do to recharge yourself.

Take time to invest in others. Spend time with friends. Share a meal with someone. When I get busy I tend to push people away. My friends are the first thing to get pushed to the side to make time for everything else. I have had people that I was really close with. People who I really loved who let busyness be an excuse for ditching friends. I hardly know them today and that is sad. In all the craziness of life take time for friends. If you must schedule a lunch or schedule a hangout, then do it. Don’t push people away because life gets busy. God calls us to live in community. I don’t believe that you can be a strong Christian on your own. I know I falter. Without my friends and the people around me I would fall flat on my face. Community helps keep you on God’s mission for you. It helps distinguish God’s will from the voice of the world. We all need community.

I hope that these words have been encouraging to you. I know they helped me even to write them. Let me know in the comments which of the three you are working on right now!

Photos:
moren hsu
Michael Nunes
Hannah Olinger

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