With school starting back this week (at least for me), God has been preparing my heart for this new season. If you’re anything like me, a break from school means a break from rigid schedules. Yes, I may still have responsibilities over summer break, but they aren’t as heavy as making sure I have a 10 page paper turned in by a certain date.
That means that by the end of the summer, I start feeling pretty bummed out about the next season that lies ahead. Fall semester comes along and I start immediately counting down the days until I have that sweet freedom once again.
This isn’t because I hate school. If I truly hated it, I wouldn’t be working my way up to pursuing my Master’s degree. But it’s because I’m what they consider a free spirit. I love my planner because I think it’s cute, but it’s like pulling teeth to get me to actually use it. I love the thought of being super organized, but when I actually try to be, I realize it’s really not for me.
I would rather make in the moment plans and live my life like “when tomorrow comes, I’ll plan for it” than plan my days a month in advance. However, school reels my free spirit back in, sets me down at my planner, and asks me to get work done. It’s been a love/hate relationship my entire life.
BUT going into this semester, God has done a little cleaning up in my heart. He has reminded me of what’s important and why it’s important:
Disclaimer: if you’ve graduated from school (God bless you), replace the word school with work in this post
1. Yes, school is rigid. Yes, school is a lot of work. But without responsibility, I would fade away. Responsibility is key to human life. Over and over in the Bible we see God giving beautiful responsibility to the ones that He loves. We may think that responsibility is from the devil and that there is no way that God intended for us to have responsibility, but that’s just not true. In the garden, God gave Adam responsibility. And that was before everything headed south. That means that even in perfection, we were created to have responsibility.
"So he took some soil from the ground and formed all the animals and all the birds. Then he brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and that is how they all got their names." -Genesis 2:19 (GNT)
That says something about me. Even if I HATE the thought of responsibility, chances are that I can’t live without it. Think about it, not having any responsibility is super nice for a couple of weeks, but then, you start to get bored. And when you start to get bored, it’s easier to fall into the temptation of sin. Don’t believe me?
When was the last time that you intentionally did something wrong? Was it when you were home alone and you looked up something on the computer that you shouldn’t have? Was it when you got home and started thinking about how terrible that person was that thing they did to you? Was it when you were laying in bed at night and called up that person that you said you never would?
Chances are that it didn’t happen while you were running around taking orders at work or writing that huge paper for school. Responsibility keeps us going and distracts us from the things that we shouldn’t do.
On the other hand, it can also definitely distract us from the things that we should be doing as well.
2. School can become a god. I have seen this in my own life for sure. For the longest time I chose to ignore it and pretend like that wasn’t even an option, but when I was choosing school over my God, that’s when everything changed. We should always try really hard at school because God says that whatever we do, we should do it with excellence, but sometimes we can take it too far. When you are staying up all hours of the night to finish that paper or study for that test but haven’t “had time” to talk to God, that’s putting school as your god. When you care more about what you get on that test than you care about what God thinks of you, that’s putting school as your god.
When I finally let God’s voice through and heard what He had to say about the matter, I was absolutely shocked. I had NEVER thought about school as my god. I knew that material things could become a god to us as I had already discovered with my phone, but school seemed impossible to me since it’s something I know God wants me to work hard at. But it’s when I crossed the line of putting it before God in many ways that it became a sin.
How did I change? Before every semester I literally lay it at His feet. Might sound weird, but I write down my class schedule and I imagine Him in front of me and I lay it down at His feet and ask Him to help me keep it there. Do I fail? HECK YES. A LOT. But when He convicts me (gracefully), I pick that piece of paper back up as I’ve already done in the spiritual and I physically lay it back down again.
This physical exercise puts it into reality for me. It demonstrates to me just how many times I find myself not trusting Him as much as I say I do.
3. Last point. We can dread this season or we can flourish in it. When you choose to flourish, you can be comforted by the fact that school brings natural rhythms into your life. Living with rhythm is one of my fav topics so I’m sure this won’t be the last time you hear me talk about it, but without rhythms, we are a mess. Living the free spirited life is so much fun and has it’s own set of blessings, but looking back at the Bible, God brings us natural rhythms more often than not.
Now I’m not talking about the kind of rhythm you have when you’re clapping your hands (because Lord knows that not everyone has that kind of rhythm), but I’m talking about what we would maybe consider what happens when we get “in the swing of things”. When we know that, “okay, on Monday nights we have soccer, on Tuesday nights we have Bible study, on Wednesday nights…” We know what we have each week and that it will rarely change.
God blessed us with a rhythm called Sabbath (big word but basically a day when we’re called to rest) way back when. He set aside this day as a day of rest in order to set the other rhythms in their place. When we live in rhythm with our own life, we live in rhythm with Him.When we live in rhythm with our own life, we live in rhythm with Him. Click To Tweet
When school starts back, we are thrown into new rhythms, but they actually bless our life. We are able to add the rhythm of Jesus time, prayer time, etc. to our schedule. I find myself spending a lot more of regular time with Jesus in the school semesters as I know I wake up at such and such time every morning and that I can add in extra time to spend time with God. Whereas in the summer, I find myself just picking and choosing when I’m not off having fun to spend time with Him.
Yes, summer is over. Yes, it might really suck. But no, it’s not the end of the world. It’s actually the beginning if you look at it with eyes of thankfulness of this new season. If you pay attention to the beauty of responsibility, choosing our God above your test grades, and loving the natural rhythms the semester brings, you’ll love this school year a little bit more than you expected to.
LET’S ROCK THIS SCHOOL YEAR