Since entering college, and even now into graduate school, I've made it my goal in life to always be ten or fifteen minutes early to whatever activity I was expected to attend. Whether it was for class, a meal, or even meeting up with friends, there was rarely an instance in which I was not the one flipping the light-switches on in the classroom, sitting hungry at a table in the dining hall, or nursing a lukewarm cup of coffee as I waited for my less punctual pal to walk through the door
Loyalty remains one of the most compelling and yet confusing aspects of the character of God. In a culture characterized by so many wayward desires and shifting opinions, the thought that the desires of God do not change is simply unbelievable.
If I was ever given the task of describing myself I firmly believe I could produce a list of fifteen characteristics or qualities before I would even consider listing peaceful as one of those attributes. I feel like throughout my life there was always something vying for my attention; some class, relationship, or future goal that managed to produce some sense of anxiousness in me. It became evident how serious of an issue this was when those things soon found their place at the forefront of my mind, consuming a significant portion of my thought-life, permeating nearly every aspect of my day. While I don't believe these areas of anxiety ever became truly overwhelming or crippling, I can remember many a sleepless night when I was left shoulders-shrugged in lack of direction, mind unable to conceive words to speak nor the ability of the tongue to voice them.
I sat down about a week and a half ago with a friend of mine to work on a take-home essay exam for one of the classes we had together. Due to the unbelievably arbitrary nature of the grading scale and the overall flawed point system of the institution, we were a little less than apathetic to answer roughly seven pages of essay questions for a final that mattered very little in the outcome of our grade. But we pressed onward regardless. The apples of our MacBooks aglow, Word documents formatted and titled, we were ready to tackle this assignment, a full four days before it was even due, I might add.
I feel like I've really begun to trivialize the idea and practice of forgiveness as I've grown more accustomed to using "Christian" as an adjective when I describe my lifestyle. It sounds almost oxymoronic when I read that sentence out loud. How can forgiveness become trivial to a Christian when it is one of the core tenets of the religion? How could such an essential and foundational doctrine become so unimportant?
The past few weeks have been some of the most difficult I've ever experienced in my entire life. As I've reflected on everything that has happened in the last month, I can say with certainty that everything bad that could have happened, happened. It's interesting how when we begin to notice things are not going our way that the problems of our lives only compile and then go on to compound our negative circumstances, leaving us in this metaphorical pit characterized by an overwhelming feeling of encroaching hopelessness.
My mentor once told me, “If you want to be like God in your relationships, reveal yourself slowly.” This is derived from the Christian understanding of God progressively revealing Himself throughout history. While it has been several months since my professor said this statement to me, it has only been recently that I have started to understand what he really meant. God did not rush to reveal who He was since the beginning of creation. He did it slowly, over time.
I have noticed a recurring theme in my life that was only recently brought to light by a question asked by my mom when I was back home from college for a couple weeks this summer. I had only been back for a couple days but my mind had already began struggling with all that I was able to avoid while preoccupied with a full-time job and enjoying life in a college town absent of the college students that tend to overwhelm it. The myriad of problems that were upon me as I was entering perhaps one of the most crucial times of my life were only magnified now that I had the time and the isolation to dwell upon those dilemmas I had set to simmer on the back-burner all summer.