The meanings of the words “rough,” “exhausting,” and “overwhelming” combined into one super word injected with grammatical steroids and fed phonetic protein supplements cannot begin to describe today’s contents.
Sure…I honestly never thought this would be easy. I just didn’t think my paranoia would ever reign true in my touchable reality. Granted, God was still there, but my fears were certainly confirmed….
There were no baked beans in the cafeteria for lunch today.
Aside from this great upset (the baked beans I mean) a few other things did take place. I was introduced to the brand new concept of when you swear, you are apparently automatically professional and gain the respect of all of those who are lower than you and even higher than you. You might even get rewarded for doing so…or at least that’s what my professors seem to think.
Both of my professors (since I only had two classes today) were certainly unique characters playing a significant part in this story of mine. My first character to whom I wish to introduce you is my world literature professor, and I can only accurately describe him as a very distant relative of Albert Einstein with a few too many touches of insanity. Don’t get me wrong; some of the things he said in his introduction were rather hilarious, but most of it was just…well…different. I do think I’ll learn a lot in his class, even if he does seem to think that Gilgamesh can save my life.
If you can picture a female novelist or philosopher, a long, thin woman with dark hair streaked with gray pulled back into a low bun, wearing thick black frames on her face, and shockingly red lip make up, then add a quiet but intelligent voice and subtle hand motions and you have a picture of my critical thinking and writing professor. We discussed “self” today, and “self-help.” It was a very….different, experience. I suppose that’s all I can do to explain exactly what the contents of the class were without feeling like I’m inflicting my opinions on the world….
Oh, wait, I’m blogging!
Self-help to me, while some aspects of it are indeed biblical, is like trying to win in a losing game. Apart from the change that God is able to spark within us, apart from His divine ability to make us into a completely new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17), we can’t change ourselves, no matter how many books we read or how many habits we try to break. Apart from God, we can do nothing that’s worth anything. Now, I realize that some people have changed completely it seems without a spiritual influence; I have yet to understand how to argue that point, though I am aware that an argument exists…right now I’m just studying everything, trying to think, and wondering how city people survive without baked beans.
On to a more mature note, after all of what happened today, I returned to my dorm only to change into work out clothes and work of some of the steam built up in my brain. I wasn’t sure what to think or how to feel about any of it.
After sweating buckets (quite literally) and feeling like I had at least gotten rid of some of my numbness, I went back to my dorm and stood around for a while, trying to form an opinion about the day. Without much success in that area, I went and showered, got as comfortable as I physically could, and tried to start in on my homework. I had to listen to a podcast with explicit language in it. Then I had to read a speech with vulgarity and more language. Then I had to read an essay about the answer to self-help and what the “self” is exactly. My brain wasn’t exactly getting the nourishment it needed at the moment.
My printer wasn’t working correctly. My online book purchase didn’t go through but charged my account anyway. My online banking didn’t match my written record. I’d had it.
Then I began to cry.
“God, how can I possibly do this? Why on earth have you led me to this place where it seems like everything is as secular and as….well….against You as it can possibly be? How am I supposed to do my homework when it’s against everything You want me to be, when it’s full of garbage that distracts me from what I’m actually supposed to be learning? What on earth could You possibly be preparing me for that would require this much difficulty? How the heck am I going to make it through four years of this?” I was weeping, sobbing out heart-wrenchers like there was no tomorrow.
I then did what any sensible, mature, young adult would do…
I called my mama.
I cried and cried and cried and told her that I can’t do this, that it’s too much, that God doesn’t know what He’s doing and that I won’t be able to handle the spiritual warfare that was already taking place within my brain. She reminded me of the truth…she reminded me that God has a plan, that I’m going to be fine, that He loves me….that He loves me.
Near the end of our conversation she asked me if I had taken a nap that afternoon. I told her no that I had worked out instead. She told me to take a nap and then talk to Charlene to see if she was feeling the same way. Surely enough, I slept for a good two hours and woke up refreshed and confident. My stomach was empty and getting something to eat helped me greatly as well.
After I woke up I threw my bed head into a bun, put on my glasses and started back in on my homework, challenging it and comparing it with scripture and talking to God all the while, telling Him what I thought. Me and Charlene talked on the phone for a while; turns out she had been feeling sort of the same way that I had been feeling: overwhelmed.
I write this with a heavy heart, because I know that I’ll have to face all of the same challenges again tomorrow…but at the same time there is still that ever present hope that soon all of this will be a distant memory, and that difficulty, much like working out, is made to build up my endurance for something even bigger…but at this point, the biggest thing is college, and I’m wondering how on earth there could possibly be anything that has greater mass and greater intimidation in my life than college. But God knows….God knows.
The major, more lighthearted lesson of the day is this: never try to do anything major on an empty stomach, with a tired mind, or an even more tired body, especially if you’re already emotional about something.
Take a nap. Eat something substantial. Play a game on your iPod. Calm down.
God knows and He hears everything you say and sees everything that happens to you. He is leading you on whatever path you’re on for a reason. I realize this sounds cliche and that you might have heard it a thousand times, but He does have a plan. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (GWT). I’m not saying trusting God to carry out His plan for you is going to be easy; look at me; I’m a mess. But from what God has done in my life before this, from what His word says of Him, and from the hope and peace emanated from the Holy Spirit, the evidence of His love for me, I know that He has a perfect, unconditional love just for me and He has a plan just for me and that He will carry it out.
And He will do it in His style, and not in the world’s.