Finding God on Gannon’s campus: 10 minutes can manage stress


Oh, the dreaded time of year when students are seen working late into the night at the library to finish up major projects or to cram for a big exam.
Stress permeates every corner of campus for these few weeks.
As a senior student, I have had my fair share of meltdowns.
However, a very important piece that I have come to find over these four years is to take time to stop “doing” and to just “be.”
Monday, my roommate and I attended Sister Carmen’s “10 Minutes of Prayer” at Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel.
In these 10 minutes, I found a way to tune out the crippling stress and be present in the face of God.
Walking in, she played music that I had heard so many times.
Usually, the song just plays in the background of my day, but for once, I actually sat and focused on the lyrics, soaking in their meaning.
As we began the 10 minutes of prayer, Sister Carmen had us focus on the idea of God creating us in his image.
We are not separate creatures, but we were made akin to him to foster a relationship and to walk with him.
As Sister Carmen asked us to give to God everything on our hearts, I created the long list.
Classes, friendships, boys and so much more filled my mind.
And the strange thing is that as I listed things left and right, I felt something tell me to just stop for a minute.
I stopped and took a breath.
And I just breathed.
I had a long exam that morning with two more in the next few days.
My heart was confused.
And in all of that, I sat and just felt my heart beat, my lungs fill and my hands clasp together.
The thing of all of this stress is that we let it lead not just our lives, but we allow it to permeate our hearts and attitudes.
God already knows the stressors of your heart.
Telling him is not necessarily what you need to do.
He already knows that.
All he requires is for you to take a minute and find the big picture.
You are alive.
You are breathing.
You are loved.
I pray that as we all stress, that we never lose sight of the forest amongst the trees.
But even more than that, I pray that we don’t forget to see the true beauty of that forest we are in.
For those 10 minutes, I took time to reflect on my day and to clear my mind.
God cleared my heart to let me fill it with what it actually needed: love.
We are only human beings.
We do not have to be good.
We just need to be present.
Find the outlets that fill your soul with a renewed sense of peace that allows you to not be carried away with the stress.
Use just 10 minutes and take a deep breath.
Admire the forest, and don’t fret over the trees.

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