This morning, right now, while studying, I sit in a local coffee shop, Grassroots. I have peace about my test in a couple of hours, and I have all of my work complete for class at 1:30. Is this real life? I am prepared for class? Who knew that was possible!
Time after time over my high school and college years, I’ve struggled with studying. I would sit down at my desk, or in the library at Valdosta State, or at a friends’ house in study group, or in numerous coffee shops/Atlanta Bread Companys. I’ve spent the time staring at my notes and my book, contemplating on what to study, and getting prepared, but I’ve never spent the time preparing myself. I’ve prayed through my whole “studying process” with a prayer that’s probably similar to many of you, who have also prayed this same prayer while studying, or something similar:
“Lord, please help me pass this test. I can’t do this on my own.”
Wanna know how the rest of my time “studying” goes? I’ll look at my book, check Facebook, check Twitter, check Instagram, chat with a few friends I see in the library, eat a snack, sing some songs, look over my notes for 30 minutes or so (if even), and repeat. I return to class the next day, thinking “AWWWH YEAH, gimme that A!” When then, reality hits, and I don’t pass.
I used to wonder what it took for the Lord to come through and answer my prayers. “I’m doing it all right!” I thought. I’m studying!
Was I? …no. I was attempting to study, and I was failing miserably. I wanted to make God do all of the work for me, so that way I could still do what I wanted to do, and get by.
I hated failing all of the time, I hated not getting what I needed out of the chapters I was “studying.”
When I started my Cosmetology program, I noticed how much I throughly enjoyed my work. I thought it was merely because I loved what I was learning, and that was why I was doing so well. But, up until this morning, I realized what had changed. My method has changed. My mindset has changed, without me even knowing it. I’m actually preparing myself!
I’ve given my undivided attention to studying, working my rear off, and it is all paying off. I’ve said no when friends invite me over if my homework isn’t complete or if I have a test the next day or so. I’ve chosen not to check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as often as I used to, so I can focus on what really matters. My mindset has matured.
On the second day of my Cosmetology program, my teacher asked us to type up a personal mission statement for the rest of the program. I included this verse in mine:
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
It has been my prayer for my life every day since then. It’s a constant reminder, that I actually have to do the work in order to do well. I have to do my part in order for the Lord to come through. I don’t need to be lazy and selfish and sit back and watch the Lord work. When we move, the Lord moves. Am I right?
Lesson learned: Work whole-heartedly, pray for the Lord to intervene, and He will. He will come through if you do. He will listen to the desires of your heart when they’re actually desires.
Desire: A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.
Before I started making an effort to please the Lord and to work full force, I wasn’t desiring to do so. If a desire is a strong feeling, and if you feel strongly about something, you will do it. If not, the desire isn’t really there. It’s just a thought.
I was thinking about doing my work whole heartedly, I just wasn’t willing to put in my time. How selfish!
Lately, I have enjoyed working, and it’s been a breeze I tell ya!
I’m thankful I have come to this understanding and realization. It’s made today stress-free. I’ve completed four chapters and a report since Sunday after noon. Not to mention, I’ve attended a night church service Sunday, and worked on Monday from 9-8. Thankful the Lord gives me motivation when I ask for His help, and thankful He comforts me when I’m stressed. Hard work pays off, and I’m so thankful I have the desire to put in effort. God is good! And He does answer prayers. In His own timing, usually after He teaches us a life lesson. And now, prayers answered, and lesson learned. Thankful.
Until next time,