Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013!





Awake.

Aware. 

Abiding. 

Those were the three words that jumped out at me on my birthday last month, and that seem to have become my theme for this year.

Awake, because despite my hopefulness about learning to go to bed on time in 2012, I find my sleep schedule yet atrociously off. :P Sometimes I feel like I can't even start studying until after midnight, which translates into me being the opposite of awake the next day. Thankfully, my last semester had late morning classes, and so I didn't completely crash and burn. But... this semester I do not have that luxury. I have one of those delightful 8am classes that make winter mornings even darker and colder than they already are. :) 
The really sad thing is, when I am tired, I just don't care. I eat whatever food is in front of me, I have no desire to exercise, even my standards find themselves on shaky ground. I don't want to make the effort to talk to people, to help them out, or witness to them. Plus, I easily get too tired to go to sleep. When ends up with me staring at Pinterest at some unearthly hour, a tiny voice in the back of my head squeaking out, "I'm... tired..." 
Me + tired = just bad news. The first step in being a light, then, is to not be wandering around in a sleep-deprived fog. Funny how hard something so simple seems to be for me. Or actually it's not very funny. :P

Aware is definitely connected to Awake - when I'm nodding off, I'm certainly not aware of what's going on around me. But it's more than that. It's not being so obsessed with my tests, with my goals, with my interests, with my agenda that I lose sight of the people around me. I can so easily be caught up in things, whether it's reading or writing or talking about what I want to talk about, that I miss out on what other people are going through. Even so focused on the people I think I need to help that I tune out the people God has placed in my life for that very reason.
I came out of a test one day to find one entire hall cleared out, with fire trucks and everything surrounding the Chemistry building. I was in the Physics building, so it wasn't entirely surprising that I did not know what was going on (though the two are connected by a hallway). But it hit me as a little too symbolic of how much tunnel-vision I can acquire at times. 
So in being Aware, I would have to actually stop and take a look at how much I am investing in people's lives - are there relationships I'm ignoring or letting slip? Problems around me that I am missing? Ways I can help that I am not taking advantage of?

Abiding, though, is definitely the most important. Even if I sleep from 9:30pm to 5:30am every night and spend every waking moment helping those around me, if I am not abiding in Christ with Him abiding in me, none of it will make any difference. This past year I knew I needed to be praying more, and, much as I disliked doing so, I set myself a specific goal. (It just seemed kind of weird to be like, Hey, Best Friend, I'm going to talk to You for this long today! :P But without a specific goal, I found it way too easy to simply end up with no time left in the day.) And I kind of failed miserably at the particular goal I set, but despite that, I did find myself talking to God way more than I had before  - and amazed by how much difference it made. The days I chose to truly seek God first, even if that meant simply ignoring my "deadlines", were incredible. 
One day I had gotten up later than I should have, was tired, and had a two-hour test that night. I had class pretty much all day, and had barely studied for the test - I was kind of freaking out. But seek ye first the kingdom of God would not leave me alone, and at lunch time, during which I had planned to study like crazy, I spent pretty much the entire time praying/reading my Bible. I then went to my next class wondering if I was being an idiot (God helps those who help themselves? ahhh!), or if that really was how I should have spent my time. 
Only the next class lasted about 1/3 as long as it should have. So I went and studied for the next 2 1/2 hours or so... and found that the class after that was canceled because the teacher was sick - giving me about another hour and a half to study. I ended up getting back my entire lunch break and more time  - and did fine on my test. :) 
All these things shall be added unto you really means what it says, and it was just exciting to see that verse come true in my life over and over again this past semester. I am even more excited to see it in my life this year, as I learn both to abide in Him and to seek His face more and more. 



What are you excited to learn more about this year? :D

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