The covid-19 pandemic has meant all physical classes on college campuses are cancelled. For most students, this has been replaced with online classes and in some cases self-study as lecturers upload their power point presentations online hoping their students study them. The pandemic itself has brought a lot of anxiety, stress and feelings of been lost. Unsurprisingly, it is very hard to find motivation to study or even do anything else that can be considered productive. We’ve turned to waking up at noon, watching Netflix, eating, sleeping and eating all day every day. From the onset, let me say I am not exempt from this. Am a victim. A big one. So even as I pen these words down, it’s like am shining a light in my own soul to do some self-reflection and hopefully make amendments.
Talking to a friend a few days heretofore, I heard him say how he felt to have lost meaning in his studies. All of a sudden, what he is studying seems to not matter in life anymore. In his own words, he wished he was studying medicine, like his sister who is a doctor, so that he can help with the current situation. This got me thinking and it has led me writing this blog. Without demeaning my friend’s feelings and those of many others, allow me to share a few thoughts which could hopefully be helpful especially to fellow Christian college students.
My first thought comes from a bible verse;
“So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
I love this verse. I have tried keeping it in mind each waking day especially from the start of this year when I knew I was concluding my time at college and wanted to make each day count. In the pre-corona times, it was easy for me to apply this verse to my life. Days were moving fast and I just wanted to get the best out of them. But now days are different. However, I still think the lesson that can be drawn from this verse are applicable during these days as well. Most of these days are boring, long, filled with feelings of nothingness and us hoping that they fly by quickly. In all this, may we never forget that all these days are also God-given. Each day is a gift. Let us live it out purposefully to God’s own glory. When we stand before God to give an account of our days on Earth, these ‘corona days’ will be part of those days. May we number these days and make them count. Dear friend, student, may you live out each day as you would want to live your best day in God’s sight.
My second thought is an extension of the first. Speaking from first-hand experience, I have spent uncountable hours doing useless stuff. So this is a reminder to us that we should endeavor to get rid of laziness. There is a difference between taking care of yourself by having a break, enjoying life (which I highly recommend these times) and pure laziness. Am talking about that kind of laziness that will get you at of bed after 10 hours of sleep. That one which makes you stay in bed for hours doing absolutely nothing. Why is it necessary to get rid of such laziness? Well first, it’s not healthy. But importantly, we are called to “work the garden” and not be lazy. Proverbs puts it nicely. “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man” – Proverbs 24:33-34. Dear friends, we might not have the motivation or the strength to get up in the morning these days, but may we try not to sleep in just for the sake of it. May we try not to waste time and energy. If it helps, get Proverbs 6:9 printed and pasted somewhere you look at every day when you open your eyes in the morning. It says, “How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?” Such a reminder every morning will hopefully keep laziness away.
But why is it particularly hard to do all these things these days? To some, it might be a loss of meaning in what we are doing. Most of us find ourselves at that point in life when we question everything we are doing? We question the meaning of life and whether what we are doing is worthwhile. For Christian folks, we even ask what God’s will for our lives is. I share a thought on this.
Sometime back, I heard something that has been of great help recently. When asking what God’s will for our lives is, often times, it is what we are doing. So, dear student, what is God’s purpose for your life at this moment? It is that you be a student and you do that with excellence. We are called for our time. We are placed where we are by God’s own plan. So as a student, we will be fulfilling God’s will, even in these times, if we make God the center in our student lives. What does that look like you ask? I believe Colossians 3:23 and 1 Corinthians 10:31 have the answers.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”
“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
Dear friend, dear student, may you be reminded of this all day every day. When you sit to listen to that online lecture, do so for the glory for God. When you have to self-study or go through those slides from your professor, do so heartily, as for the Lord. When you sit down to study, do not be disheartened because there is no exam at the end of the semester. Study not because you will be tested, but because God saw it fit that you be a student now and he will be pleased if you do just that. So study. Study hard. Study harder. Brother, you have been called to this. Sister, this is your holy service to God. I know, it is not easy. Am struggling with this too myself. Am in these shoes. But I know it is comforting to know our meaning in life comes from God himself and that He delights in us when we are satisfied in him. May our motivation to study be that we have been called to this by God himself. That it is God’s own will.
What shall we say then? Number your days – make each day count, don’t sleep like a sloth – don’t be lazy and in whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.