It seems like just last week I was settling into the back row of my lecture hall ready to breeze through syllabus week, but joke’s on me because here we are at week EIGHT of the semester; holy cow did time fly! Between classes, work, study groups, PAUSE!, and late nights at the library, the semester has hit almost the halfway point and I feel as if I haven’t yet had a chance to take a breath. Everyone says that each year you’re at college, the time goes faster and faster, and I couldn’t agree more. Contributing to the chaos of this semester are the impending and exciting thoughts in the back of my mind about studying abroad this spring. In January I will be heading to Sydney, AUSTRALIA for the entire semester! I am beyond thrilled but also a bit nervous, and a lot sad to be leaving everyone on campus. Things for me this year have really clicked, and it’s hard to envision myself away from the wonderful community I am a part of at the U.
As I sat down at Pause last week, my head swimming with these thoughts and of things I needed to do; start to study for my midterm TOMORROW, finish my chemistry problem set, go to office hours, and most importantly call my mom, I found it a bit difficult to concentrate on nothing, as I like to do at Pause. I find it a great time to sit back, clear my head, listen to the music and the sermon, and just BE.
But this last week I had trouble even clearing my head for a minute. As I sat there stressing, thinking about everything I needed to get done and everything people were counting on me to do, I found myself feeling a bit hopeless and just plain exhausted.
My evening took a turn however when we gathered to sing the Prayer of Good Courage to Dana, a student leader leaving to study in Israel for the semester (how cool!). As we sang to Dana I was struck by the words of the prayer in a way I hadn’t been before. I found myself relating to the prayer quite well; feeling like everyone was singing to me, (even though I was obviously not the star of this show!)
I saved the sermon with the prayer on it, brought it home, and tacked it on my bulletin board, in the most visible place from my desk. I invite you to read it too:
O God, you have called us
To ventures where we cannot see the end
By paths never yet taken
Through perils unknown
Give us good courage
Not knowing where we go
To know that your hand is leading us
Wherever we might go
Looking at this prayer daily, even if only for a quick glance, has renewed my energy and faith in myself and in my semester. It has made me realize that it’s not always the big things that we could pray for courage for. We could ask God for courage to face an impending exam, a troubled relationship, or a venture across the world, and He will listen- no matter what! In a time of stress and exhaustion, this prayer spoke to me and encourages me daily to put my faith in God, His timing, and his will to lead me and guide me to wherever it is I am supposed to be.
I hope it speaks to you! -Lauren Zima