Lessons I Didn’t Learn in a Classroom

What did I learn this year? That’s all I can think as I sit in the student center watching a couple decorate for their wedding. While there are a lot of feelings about that, I think the best thing right now is to look back at this past school year and really think through it.

24 credits, many tears, and a lot of lessons later I have officially made it to the summer. Looking back at last summer’s expectations on how this year would go I realize I was completely wrong. I learned a lot, I mean I have 24 credit hours’ worth of knowledge, but I really learned a lot about myself that only happens when you are about a thousand miles away from home. There are three things specifically that continue to show up as lessons that I need to learn and continue to grow in.

Your quiet time with the Lord is a non-negotiable. Going into seminary I was warned that my personal time with the Lord was going to take a large hit if I was not careful. Like most advice given I rolled my eyes and said that would not be me. I had heard this already in college and I knew that I would not fall into that. And in the beginning that was completely the case. As life got crazy, Greek got harder, and things seemed to pile up I found myself spending less time with God and making excuses. One of my most famous excuse was that school was my form of worship and I needed to spend all of my time doing that. What I forgot is the importance of reminding yourself of who God is and what he’s done daily. So, what I had to remind myself was that my quiet time in this season would look different, but that was not an excuse to not have it. Sometimes a chapter a day is all I can get and that’s okay then there are times where I can just listen and dwell on the Word for two hours. However, as each season changes and life continue to, well be life it is important that you cannot go 24 hours without surrounding yourself with the truth of God.

Your plan is not always the plan. This is one of those lessons I am constantly learning because when I look at where my life is at now it is nowhere near what I would have expected it to be. In fact, if I had my way, I would not currently be sitting here writing this post or pursuing ministry and the Lord in the way that I am. Recently, I have been dwelling on Psalms 16: 11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy you’re your right hand are pleasures forevermore. It is so easy to fall into the trap of comparing where you believe that you are supposed to be to where you currently are or where others are. And yet, when we allow ourselves to stay in the Lord’s presence and follow the path of life that he has laid before us that is where we find full joy. So, instead of allowing comparison to steal our joy we need to allow ourselves to be fully in the Lord’s presence allowing him to show us the path of life and finding full joy because his plan is always more satisfying than any that we have created for ourselves.

You are meant to be fully present in the place God has placed you in. I personally have a tendency to be thinking of the next stage or the newest thing and fully miss out on where I am and what I am supposed to be learning. Spring semester has been a lot of holding on until the weekend or after this next exam or the next big thing. Then next thing I know it summer break has arrived, and I did not get to accomplish, absorb, and appreciate all that was placed in front of me. I rushed through because the promise of freedom within summer took my eyes away from what was happening in the present. It’s going to take a lot of work to learn to enjoy and be present where I am. Something that I hear constantly on Sunday is the importance of being present in the place where I am placed. There is a reason that you are at the job, school, or coffee shop table that you are. Sometimes it’s for you to grow and other times it’s for those that are around you, and if you are not fully present when you are placed in those places you miss out on amazing opportunities of serving.

It’s interesting that as I think about these three lessons and how they all go hand in hand. As we spend more time with the Lord, we are able to more clearly see where God wants us to be doing what He wants us to do. And when we are in tune to that it is important that we are fully present in that space. So, with those three lessons still being learned and the promise of a slower summer and a calmer fall semester I guess it’s time to take the summer and grow. Also, I get to enjoy more Chick-fil-a runs, sleeping in, and remembering that each season of life that we are placed in is meant to be used to glorify God and grow closer to the one that will give us fullness of joy.