Hey guys. This semester has been a whirlwind and it just began… I can’t believe September is almost over already! I’m excited about what I’m learning, but I’m not going to lie and say that it is by any means easy. I’m challenged each and every day in all my classes to think deeper, comprehend bigger concepts, and write more eloquently than ever before. I told one of my profs “my brain hurts”, and her response (a bit to my chagrin): “Good! Your brain SHOULD hurt!” Due to the stress and craziness of moving in and getting settled, starting classes, learning Hebrew (which, let me tell you, is an awesome language… but ridiculously hard), writing paper after paper…. I haven’t been doing a great job of slowing down, taking time to process and be with God and thank Him for the blessing that is this amazing education.
That mindset changed last thursday, when I attended my favorite and most cherished chapel time: liturgical chapel. Something I love about APU is that they are non-denominational and they allow students to be exposed to new kinds of worship styles and experiences they might have not ever gotten to experience outside of their home church/life. They also provide places of worship that are familiar and for me, liturgical chapel, which is strange to a lot of people, is my preferred style of worship and reflection due partly from my upbringing and partly because I’m a history and theology nerd. Anyway, Liturgical Chapel is a great place to slow down and realize that God is first, not my studies or my social life, but Him. It is a place to be poured into by the Spirit, and in a prayerful consideration, and respect of the traditions of the earliest church part take in the Eucharist as well as other actions of ancient Christian worship such as anointing, communal creedance, etc.
Regardless of your feelings of High vs. Low Church tradition, or even your personal views on the Lord’s Supper, I dare all students to try out a Liturgical Chapel at least once, going into with an open heart and mind and a willingness to try something a little different. I sometimes will spend 2 hours in liturgical chapel, even though you are dismissed after one hour, to take the time and space to mediate on my heart and what God is working on in me. Since thursday I’ve been trying to be more intentional about a silly phrase, but meaningful none the less: catching my breath.
The word for sprit can also mean wind or breath. As in God breathed on man. This image has been in my mind since Thursday of God breathing into my life despite me being winded from running like crazy with my schedule and school and social life. I must take the time to stop running, and catch my breath, or perhaps receive the Breath of Life God is Breathing into me. Tonight that manifested itself in a way of taking time to work out, something that I love to do. In the middle of running very hard, I was counting my breathes to my pace and I found myself feeling a sense of peace, a sense of rejuvenation despite the fact my to-do list can’t be contained on a single page, and that as I’m trying to be intentional about taking the time to catch my breathe, He is working amidst the stress and challenges of being a full-time honors student.
So tonight, if this catches you, if you are tired and weary and stressed out and overwhelmed with work or school or some other life circumstance… take time to catch your breath. Do something that is completely against your to-do list: take a walk, listen to music, read a non-school book (or better yet scripture), go for a run, bake a cake, or sit in the silence with the Lord your God who loves you and is breathing into your life.