I did something very terrible today. Yes, this act is black and painted with frightening repercussions. My decision will forever haunt me….
I skipped class.
Okay, enough theatrics. I skipped class, ‘stayed home from school,’ played hooky, whatever you want to call it. I can honestly say I’ll never do it again because it was the stupidest decision I’ve made thus far in my college career. Truth be told, I took a ‘mental health day,’ which is kind of ironic considering mental rest is the exact opposite of what I got.
When I woke up, I had already decided I wasn’t going to class. I don’t know why and I won’t try to justify it. I repeat: it was a really stupid idea. As I type this, I’m facepalming myself. Please, take a moment to laugh at the facepalming.
Regardless, I emailed my professors from my iPod and told them I would not be in class today. I only slept for an hour afterwards before I remembered I had to email an essay to one of my professors at noon. I also had a meeting with my academic advisor at the same time. So I got up and hurried to my laptop only to remember that, for the past couple of days, it hasn’t been connecting to the Internet…which meant I couldn’t send assignments to my professors.
This launched a fit.
“God! I need the stupid Internet! I’m trying to be responsible while skipping class and You’re totally not even helping me out!”
I emailed my professor (again, from my iPod) and then rushed to get changed, ate a bagel, and sprinted out the door. On my way to my advisor’s office, I mailed the billions (it was actually only four) of letters I had written over the weekend. My meeting was very short. I signed up for an Introduction to Journalism class which will teach me how to write magazine articles, something I’m terrible at.
After the meeting, I trudged to the cafeteria and bought sushi, ignoring God’s tugging at my heart. I knew I hadn’t talked to Him yet (the yelling doesn’t count) or read my Bible, and I knew that if I just stopped for a second and calmed myself down, then I would feel so much better, but I was set on being stubborn.
When I came back to my dorm room, I set myself up on my bed and ate my sushi with chopsticks, my brain steaming. I kept pretending I was a computer nerd and tried to fix my Internet situation, but alas, I made very little progress. I eventually gave up, shut my laptop down, and picked up J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers and began reading. While reading (which I was thoroughly enjoying, so much that my day was almost better) I remembered I had a book of poems to read for studio along with a critical response to the reading of that book. But when I had gone to buy lunch, my friends told me it was all about explicit sex, the occult, and being used by men.
I skimmed through it and found their observations to be true. I became even more frustrated, so frustrated that I ate four pieces of fudge, which only made me feel fat. Then I began to panic about failing my classes, about money, and about the future. Finally, I began to cry.
My heart gave in and the walls of anger in my brain fell down. I reluctantly pulled out my journal, sat against the wall beneath the one window in my room, and began writing. I asked God to forgive me for yelling at Him, for accusing Him of not helping me when He was lending me breath to breathe with each passing moment. Right. I told Him about why I was frustrated (even though He already knew) and asked Him questions.
It’s in moments like these when I wonder why God sticks around, why He loves me, why He’s constantly putting in the effort to let me know He loves me. Why does God love me when I ignore Him, accuse Him, and rebel against Him? How can He love me that much? It just doesn’t make sense.
I won’t lie; I didn’t feel one-hundred percent better after writing. Things didn’t magically become easier: the Internet didn’t suddenly work and fudge didn’t appear out of thin air (that would’ve been awesome, but it didn’t happen). My mind was still full, but my shoulders were a little less burdened, and I was able to step back and see what all of this was:
One, big, bad day.
“Yes, Christians have bad days, Hunter.” I had to remind myself. I only remembered this later in the evening while I was talking to my best friends via Facebook. God has blessed me with great brothers and sisters in Christ. Talking to them made me feel less guilty about skipping class and more hopeful about tomorrow.
Christians are far from being perfect, as you can see. Yep, sometimes we have days when everything that can go wrong does go wrong, just like every other human being. But it’s okay. Despite all of the bad days I’ve had up to this point in my life, there have been so many good days that are more worthy of the time I spend dwelling on my bad ones.
I remember the day of my graduation. The ceremony went smoothly and God uplifted me in ways that I had never experienced before. My entire family was there: my Grandma (mom’s mom), who I write to but never get to see; my aunt and uncle, who have loved on and teased me until my sides hurt from laughing too much; my grandparents (dad’s parents), who are both infinitely precious to me; and of course my immediate family, my support group, my team. And THEN to make everything perfect, my second family was also present. Does anyone have a family that isn’t actually related to you? This is them for me. The fact that all of my family and friends were together, paired with the beautiful weather that could’ve been the background of a Hallmark card, and the festivities that were to happen after the ceremony, this day was the best day of my life, hands down.
God can use anything, good or bad, to further His kingdom, to fulfill His plan for the world, for you, for me. He’s not limited by my bad days, by my stubbornness, or by my rebellion. He’s not repelled by my brokenness, by my sin, or by my doubt.
Yep, today was pretty rough, but look at all of the good things that happened: I mailed my letters, which means I’ll eventually get letters back, I got an extra hours of sleep this morning, had a great workout (three miles in under 32 minutes, what what!) and ate fudge. FUDGE!! 😀 And most importantly I learned something. 1) Skipping class isn’t a sin, but it can become a problem if you do it often. 2) Encouragement comes from everywhere, whether it be the memories of the past, funny moments of the present, or hopes of the future. 3) Being stubborn is stupid and vastly overrated. 4) God is good, even when everything else is bad.
There’s always good stuff to be found. All you have to do is look for it 🙂
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the Olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength.” —Habakkuk 3:17-19, ESV