I'm sitting here toasty warm in the Imani commons. The weather outside, to put it in Christmas carol words, is frightful. I think Georgia has finally gotten the cold front that most of the northern US has had for a while. In fact, not only is it freezing (literally 32ºF freezing), there are also actual snow flakes slowly flurrying to the ground. Granted there aren't very many snowflakes falling, but even the thought that snow is in the air is fine with me. I love this time of year!
Today is my second to last Sunday here. It is hard to believe that this semester has flown by so suddenly. I can't believe that I am close to half way done with my sophomore year! And as this year is coming to a close, finals are looming ahead. Oh, finals. It's a weird time of year. The joy that Christmas break is so near is evident among all, yet that feeling mixed with the anxiety and frantic studying that falls upon the Covenant campus is just a strange mix.
The other night, as I was lying in bed, I was thinking about finals, my last few classes that I would have in the semester, and about how the week had been.I realized that sometimes I get very stuck on looking only at what is happening to me right now. I look at me and what is going on in my life. It is especially easy to do with finals up ahead. My focus narrows in on the stress of the moment, the anxiety, and the fear that the exam will be harder than I anticipated.
While these thoughts were running through my head I thought of Damarise's camera. Now, bear with me through this example. Damarise has a very nice camera. It's one of those fancy ones with the lens that sticks way out of the camera. My siblings and I definitely had some fun laughing at the lens when Damarise first got her camera. But, even with us laughing at it, it was and is a great camera. There is one little "problem" with it though. You cannot take a close up picture of something. If the lens is within about 1"-2" of the object the lens begins to try to focus like crazy, meaning that it turns this way and that trying to get a good and focused picture, but to no avail. In order to take a nicely focused picture you need to stand back and look at everything around the object as well.
Sometimes I feel like my "camera" is too close. It intently tries to focus on me and what is going in the moment, and when it tries there is anxiety and fear (the lens fidgeting back and forth). In order to see I need to step back and take in the whole picture. I need to step away from it being all about me and focus on God. I've realized that with the stress of final things piling up on me it is easy to get sidetracked and to begin to worry. And the closer I get to focusing solely on me, the more worried I become. I'm praying that in this final week and a half of school my focus will be on God, the sustainer and giver of life! It's much more wonderful to be focused on God and what He is doing in the world around me, than to be focused solely on me and my worries.
I was talking with Janessa this afternoon about not focusing on myself but on God and who He is. She was telling me that every year she reads through her journals. Ah, I love doing that! Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in the moment and wonder how you will ever survive, but God is faithful. And I often see that when rereading through my journals. God's promises never fail. There are so many wonderful examples of this even in just my own life! Oh what a great and mighty God we serve! I'm so thankful that He does keep His promises, that He is faithful, and that I don't have to worry about the future because God has it all under control.
"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God."