College is a time of discovery. I don’t mean sinful discovery, though many students use it for that purpose and to their detriment. No, I mean discovering passions and interests. I mean trying a lot of new things, making new (often lifelong) friends, and learning a great deal about themselves. But college can also pull you in a hundred directions. With student organizations, clubs, pre-professional groups, friends, romantic interests, and jobs, not to mention classes and homework, college students are busy.
The Will of God is More Important
I am reminded of Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom (the Lordship) of God … and all these things (the necessities of life) will be added to you.” That saying of Jesus surely suggests, among other things, that there are some things – for instance, the will of God – more important than the pursuit of material goods, even the pursuit of necessary material goods.
Many times in my life I have needed to re-focus my priorities. There are so many things to do in life. Indeed, there are so many good things to do, but this life is too short to do all that we see to do. Therefore, we must do the best things, which means setting priorities and being willing to pursue the best (God’s will). It also means that we must be willing to reassess, and sometimes even eliminate, or at least de-value, those things which may be good, but hinder us from doing the best.
We Are All Busy
College students are not the only ones who must learn to choose the best. The temptation to do too many things will look different as the phases of life change, but it never disappears. Busy dads and moms work too much as their children grow. Busy professionals walk by their neighbors’ doors every day and never say hello. Busy college presidents can forget the real heart of the University’s mission – caring for students, faculty, staff, and alumni – while trying to pursue budgets, buildings, and rankings. Busyness distracts us from the best things. You should never be too busy that you miss the will of God, even if you are doing his work. In fact, pastors are sometimes the worst workaholics as they do “God’s work” in such a way that they completely miss his will. It is easy to get so caught up in our to-do lists that we forget our purpose.
Cease our Frantic Busyness
The clock can be such a tyrant. It moves inexorably on. There will never be enough time in this life. So why not admit it? Let’s cease our frantic busyness. Let’s cast our anxieties upon Him. Let’s admit that we’ll never do everything. Let us prayerfully retreat in trust to the peace of God and, then, let us actively seek first his will and his righteousness. Let’s do those things which – in light both of his will and the unique patterns of spiritual giftedness he has bestowed on each of us – best represent the Lordship of Christ in the various “worlds” in which we live.
I challenge each of us to reassess our priorities and learn better to “seek first God’s kingdom.”
My Challenge to You and to Myself:
- Evaluate your priorities. What is receiving your time?
- Are the best things getting the best of you?
- Refocus on the kingdom of God.