The holiday season is over; I’m back in Davis after three lovely weeks in the San Diego sun; winter quarter classes have begun; but something doesn’t feel right. Well, it may be due to the fact that I came down with a gnarly stomach flu last night… or it could be this ugly little thing called transition.
After almost a straight month of rest, family time, long walks, and doing whatever I want, this whole school thing is pretty foreign. And work… don’t get me started. I know this isn’t an unfamiliar or uncommon phenomena: transition, no matter how huge or insignificant, sucks. It takes a lot more effort to do life during these times of transition than we often think its worth.
Consider this: transition is difficult not because of our changing environment, but because of the changing we must do to adapt a changing environment. Riding a bike for the first time isn’t difficult because of the road we must go over or the trees that we pass by; it’s because we must focus on the task of not tipping over while pedaling our legs while listening to your parents screaming, “Don’t fall!”.
As I spent my day trying to recuperate from whatever has invaded my digestive system, I pondered transition and how it can be handled in a way that humbles us and opens the door wider for our Father to enter our lives.
Here is my thought: Carpe diem. Seize the day. I had a high school English teacher who repeated this phrase several times each class period and with my jaded high school mind I interpreted this to mean, Go to the beach and like go shopping and don’t worry about school and stuff… duh. But now I get it. It means put your best foot forward every day, no matter the circumstance, show em’ what you got.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23
Seizing the day means delivering your best effort in everything you do throughout the changing tides of life. Whether it be new classes or a new job or a new home, put forth your best. This may be as simple as taking an extra moment to make a conversation meaningful, rather than just small talk. Maybe it’s going the extra step to tidy up your office at work, rather than rushing home because “you’re done.” Your extra effort will show to those around you and certainly be pleasing to the Lord.
This is apart of embracing that change is occurring and the old is no longer.
Maybe this piece of advice seems apparent or over-simplified, but really, when life gets rough, we tend to draw inwards than to press on. It happens all the time: I dwell on the family I miss at home or the past events I wish were still happening when really I should be entirely present in my math class and making sure I excel in the material.
Think of the toil you put forth as a reflection of your character. Thoughtful and well-crafted? Or sloppy and negligent?
Remember that a full and genuine effort is pleasing to the Lord, especially when done mindfully of Him. He doesn’t want to see us just slip through life without giving it our best. He doesn’t want to see us caught in a time that has past or a time that has not come. He wants to see how we can be shaped by the challenging times of transition and pain. AndHe wants to be called upon throughout these times.
I encourage you to examine how your life is changing now and where you see room for more effort spiritually, emotionally, or physically.
I plan to appreciate the time of rest that is now past and focus on the tasks at hand each day, knowing that I will be strengthened when I look to Christ.
“Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:24