I was really blessed by a conversation with a new friend the other day, and its made me realize a few things; or maybe just finally understand what it is that I’ve been realizing for a while:
I feel as though school, and a long list of other things have taken everything out of me lately. In fact, shortly after the conversation I mentioned above, another friend looked at me and said “You look tired.” And when I was home a few weeks ago, my mom even urged me to see someone if I was feeling depressed. And I seriously considered for a day whether or not I was, and I’m quite sure I’m not. I still realize I have a beautiful life, and thank God for that every day. In no way am I consistently upset or even “down.” But I am tired.
I came back to campus this fall with an idea of how rough this semester’s course load and life would be, but I had no clue. I came back with energy, life, excitement, and a passionate seeking of the Lord, and it seems that at some point this fall those things got lost somewhere.
It was when I was sitting, asking God for a topic for a prayer meeting this week that I realized, I don’t think I’m completely alone in this. I sat in Starbucks and listened to people studying around me complain to one another about how rough life seems at the moment. Like me, it was classes for the guy to my right; a relationship for the girl to my left; and slew of interviews for the guy sitting across from me. And what I realized is this: what these people need, and what I have (but fail to realize much of the time), is God.
At that moment a friend I had planned a meeting with sat down across from me, looked me in the eyes and the first words from her mouth were, “I’m in need of some renewing.” We continued to have a long conversation about how we often fail to recognize and draw our strength and spirit from the Lord. We allow college and life to dictate our schedules. We go, go, go. We fill up our days with studying, relationships, and sleeping when we get a chance. But the problem is, we can’t go on by our own energy for long. The world around us will wear us down. It has put out the light of many men who forgot to consistently look for life and energy from the Lord. And that’s the real problem, at least for me. I can schedule God into a time slot I like to call “quiet time.” But I’m not always looking to him for strength in day to day happenings. I fail to turn to him for life in those moments when that paper never seems finished, or scheduling just one more thing feels like it will break me. God doesn’t abide by my “quiet time,” and when I fail to look to Him outside of that, it doesn’t take long for this world to wear me down.
I apologize for the length of this, and I’ll stop boring you now. But, God has shown me that I, and the people around me on this campus, are tired. And I think it’s because we’re not letting God completely into the schedules that this world demands of us; we’re not looking to Him for all of our energy to get through everything. And it’s allowing this world to exhaust us.
1. Don’t allow your schedule to dictate your time with the Lord. He’s not on your schedule. Look to him continuously for strength and life. “Pray without ceasing.”
2. Ask the friends around you how they’re feeling, be an encouragement, and point them toward the Lord for their strength and flowing waters. They’re probably tired too.
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” - John 7:38