Finding God on Gannon’s campus

This time of the year can begin to get a bit hectic with all the midterms, sporting events and socials, not to mention the curve balls life can send us from time to time.

This past Sunday’s reading from St. Paul to the Philippians hit me right in the head.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

The many different events that may be going on in our lives can cause a great deal of anxiety to build up.  The way we choose to allow God to remove it is the peaceful solution.

What can we really accomplish by worrying?  The problem will remain for as long as we allow it to continue to eat at us, so why do we torment ourselves?

The interesting thing is this: we spend so much time worrying about what others think of us, what they will say about us, or whether they believe our side of the story that we lose focus on the only thing that matters.

What does God say about us? The longer I live the more I realize that the only true happiness is found in God; his love is unfailing.

I have learned that the geographical location of a person doesn’t deprive him of living a quality life in love and service.  What deprives us of life is fear and anxiety.

We can go from one group of friends and associates to another or we can be influenced by one person’s philosophy so much only to wake up one day and find out that person was completely wrong. We can look for our identity in people to feel accepted only to see they are not worth the effort.

So, what does God say about who we are?  What does God say about why we are?  Well, God loved us so much that, even in our sinful nature and knowing how we will react to his love, sent us his son, Jesus, to be a sacrifice for our sins.

Our Lord doesn’t gauge his love for us on all the feathers in our hats.  Jesus didn’t come for honor students only, he didn’t come for fraternity and sorority members only, he didn’t come for only the accomplished members of society.

Jesus came that all may share in his glory.  The amount of accomplishments may be very important in obtaining a good career, or it may not. What our Lord expects is that we use his gifts in service of others no matter what walk of life.

So, if you don’t get that A you studied so hard for, or you don’t make the dean’s list, or your life becomes a bit more tattered than you expected, remember these words:

“Finally, brothers and sisters whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me.  Then the God of peace will be with you.”

I am not saying that you should not have goals and aspirations; I am saying not to beat yourself up over setbacks and failures.

Don’t let the anxiety set in and disturb your peace. Look for peace in knowing God’s love for you no matter who you are and what you have or have not accomplished.

The one thing we will be asked is, “Did you love?”

There will be no transcript and co-curricular transcript, there will not be a pay stub or a tax return showing the high income we earned and there will not be a resume to allow entry into the master’s vineyard.  What we will be judged on is our love.

At the end of the Gospel Jesus tells us, “Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”

We need to be the people who produce the fruit by our actions and words, and not worry so much about what others will think, say, or do because in the end, we stand alone.

As the midsemester comes close and finals draw near, remember not to allow anxiety and fear to hold you back, and if the results are not what you expected, try again.

ROB LOPEZ

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