Finding God on Gannon’s campus: Discovering spiritual peace


This week has been one of rejuvenation.
After multiple exams and lectures over the span of four days, my classmates and I are finally finding some space to breathe.
Running on adrenaline for days now has caught up to me.
However, with this reprieve, my brain has found a bit of writer’s block.
When it comes to finding God, I feel as though I have gotten to be rather good at it.
Whether it is while I am in class or sipping a cup of coffee, I can sense it.
But as I am surrounded by him this week in a much-needed sense of peace, I don’t necessarily have a specific spot that I found him.
I even turned to Google to try to figure out what I might be able to discuss this week.
But, yet again, I was at a standstill.
During this essential break from some stress, I have turned back to the source of my faith: reading my Bible.
I am an early-bird and even though my roommate despises it, I will wake up around 6 a.m. each morning.
These past few days, I have been able to set aside time to read and spend some moments reflecting in God’s word.
These moments are truly what my soul has been craving.
The quiet of the morning and the stillness of my heart provide a welcoming time for an encounter with my faith before the chaos of the day ensues.
Reading through some scripture, I came upon multiple verses that discuss how we can find a sense of true spirit within a dwelling place.
All throughout the book of Psalms, this phrase rings out.
Verse 90:1 states, “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.”
Not entirely certain what this meant, I looked up the definition. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, a dwelling place is “the place where someone lives.”
So, in a sense, I was finding a place where God lives. I was literally finding God.
In the quiet stillness of these mornings, I search for a feeling of peace and a way to eliminate a sense of not being good enough.
We live a life, especially as college students, of striving to be more than what we originally brought to the table. This need calls for us to not live a life of peace, but one of worry and stress.
Yet in this dwelling place, I find a perception of wholeness.
God calls for us to come to him as weary, broken individuals.
Whenever it all becomes too much and I do not feel that I can ever be enough, I can find this place.
Ephesians 2:22, states “And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his spirit.”
In a way, the dwelling place of God is actually within us, growing and cultivating our faith. And in this quiet place inside of us we can find peace amid the college stressors.
Externally, we hear of fast-paced living where we must reach a certain level of achievement. Meanwhile, in this dwelling place, we find a time to slow down and come just as we are.
I recently discovered a poem that spoke to my heart. “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver has some beautiful lines.
Oliver writes, “you do not have to be good.” The world is full of so much and we are called to come as we are. Like wild geese navigating the sky, we may find our “place in the family of things.”
Feeling rather lost when it comes to my place in this world, I think that such a simple poem as this is exactly what I needed.
Our very place of true humanity is among a world of so much beauty and a place of inner peace. A dwelling place where your soul may truly find rest.
A place to come as we are and realize that this is all we need to be.
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