Changing the World One Step at A Time

It’s easy to get lost in college. So many expectations push people to rush from class to doing homework to going to a job or to a friend’s apartment for a drink… wait, that wasn’t meant to be in there.

Regardless, the expectation is to remain busy and all the while be successful while you do it. If you somehow fail at this enormous expectation, you’re viewed as less capable then your peers.

Truly though, how is there time to value the things that matter: love, family and faith, if we’re forced into a cycle that consumes our time from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep after 18-hour – at a minimum – work days.

This week, more than 30 Gannon students and faculty members are participating in the Busy Person’s Retreat. The focus of the retreat is to give “busy” people the opportunity to put time into their days to center and reflect on what God is trying to say to them.

How can we truly focus on our relationship with the divine if we’re racing from one overwhelming activity to the next? We have entered into a system that disables us from making real connections and isn’t that sad?

Personally, I struggle with this concept of not being able to connect with the divine so I turn to scripture to relate to my God.  The Bible mentions that “Jesus wept” John 11:35 – historically the shortest passage in the Bible – but for me, the most profound.

The story behind this passage is Lazarus, the brother of Martha, died and when Jesus heard of his death, he traveled to visit Lazarus’ grave and console Martha.

What is truly remarkable though is that Jesus, who in the Christian tradition is a true God and a true man, wept over the death of a man who would be in the kingdom with him. He wept when he knew that Lazarus was more alive than we could ever be on this earth.

We have a God who weeps for us, who believes in us and knows intimately the pains, the struggles and the stresses of our everyday life. He does not judge us, he does not pity us, he loves us and he realizes how stressful our life is.

When life gets busy and you’re struggling to find peace, remember John 11:35. There is a God who understands how busy you are and instead of judging you and demanding that you give him more of your time – weeps that you are this busy.

So today, instead of crashing on your bed at the end of the night, take a second and reflect on how we can all enter into deeper relationship with a God who loves us this intimately.

In the words of Henri Nouwen, “There is a twilight zone in our hearts that we ourselves cannot see. Even when we know quite a lot about ourselves, our gifts and weaknesses, our ambitions and aspirations, our motives and our drives – large parts of ourselves remain in the shadow of consciousness. This is a very good thing. We will always remain partially hidden to ourselves.

“Other people, especially those who love us, can often see our twilight zones better than we ourselves can. The way we are seen and understood by others is different from the way we see and understand ourselves. We will never fully know the significance of our presence in the lives of our friends.

“That’s a grace, a grace that calls us not only to humility, but to a deep trust in those who love us. It is the twilight zones of our hearts where true friendships are born.”

God bless.



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