Micho William | 3 March 2020
Micho William is a graduate student at Texas A&M University. He is studying Kinesiology with a focus in Motor Neuroscience.
"With the constant pressures of school, what do you do to remind yourself that God is with you? How can you ensure that you are prioritizing Him?"
Initially when I meditated on this question, I began to ask myself what instances I was met with a tough circumstance and was provided with the comfort that only God can provide, or a circumstance where I saw other people around me who faced trials and tribulations and sought God as their refuge. However, as I examined these myriads of instances the question turned more into, “how could I be so blinded as to forget that God is with me?” One of our mentors told us in many bible studies, “College is the time where you get closer to God or stray further away from Him, you won’t stay the same” and indeed those words resonated with me. In college we are all faced with obstacles which will test our faith and we are forced to choose between leaning on Him to guide us through these tumultuous waters of our college years. On top of this, it states in scripture, “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14) God does not guarantee us a walk in the park of our path of life but rather places us in a tempest in which He has His hands stretched out towards us until we call upon Him to lift us up. College is not supposed to be easy and there are countless interruptions which may distract us from the fact that God is waiting for us to call upon His name. Many of us leave our parents homes, our spiritual life becomes our own independent responsibility, attending church to partake of the blessing of the Holy Mysteries is now a conscious decision that has to be made weekly, and college opens up the door to turn this into a way of life which we manage on our own or a burden which is placed on our shoulders. The constant reminder that God is with us is all around us if we open our ears to His voice. Like in any relationship with our peers, there are tough times where doubt is instilled in our hearts, and we may block out God’s tender voice. However, regardless of the amount of times we refuse to listen to God because of our ignorance, He calls on us every morning to speak with Him, He reminds us of His power in His creation around us, He provided us tools to communicate with Him and vice versa in the Book of Hours (Agpeya) and the Holy Bible, He granted us endless blessings that we take for granted every day whether that be our families, homes, churches, spiritual fathers/guides, health, education, etc.
To ensure we are prioritizing God is also something that takes practice. Everyone has checklists and tasks that they complete throughout the day and people prioritize these tasks based on how much time it takes to complete, how rigorous the task may be, when it is due, etc. Many people would agree that in a perfect world, God should be #1 on the list. However, I push back on this point a little bit by saying that God should on every point on the list. In any task we accomplish, God should be ingrained right in the middle. Whether that is an exam or assignment, asking for God’s grace to complete it, our interactions with our peers shouldn’t be filled with idle talk at all times but rather speak of beneficial things that pertain to God and His mercy, our time spent in prayer and bible reading shouldn’t be something done to check it off the list but rather it should be the most valuable time of our day and not to be rushed. This is not an easy process and I am not saying that this comes naturally, on the contrary, myself being the first to struggle with this mightily, but rather it should be a struggle and one which reaps great rewards. College taught me to view every day as a new opportunity to grow in our relationship with God, by not only prioritizing Him, but rather including Him in every aspect of our lives. Yes, we will fall, yes, we will have rough patches that may even last days and weeks, but God reminds us as He reminded Isaiah, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10).