The Finals Monster

I am currently sixty percent of the way through what we students like to call “literally the suckiest thing ever.” That’s right: it’s finals week. Over the past several days, I have fallen to the floor and cried during class, derived my way through logarithmic equations, and boiled the entire American Revolution down into one chart. Now is the time for sweatpants, for absolutely no makeup, for wearing Chacos with socks. In public. Unfortunately, it’s also the holiday season, when we’re supposed to be preparing Pinterest-worthy treats for our party guests and buying cute gifts for all of our friends. I’m pretty sure Jesus is supposed to fit somewhere into the picture here, too, but in all the hustle and bustle He has been all but forgotten.

As I look at the current picture of my life, my purpose seems to be doing well on finals and trying not to panic about Christmas rapidly approaching. I’m not saying that those (especially the first – stay in school, friends) are bad things… but they do not deserve to take my life away.

I think about a novel, because no one walks away from Harry Potter and literally cannot shut up about the writing style. People walk away from books like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings and they don’t want to stop talking about the story. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the sentence structure and rhetorical strategies of every paragraph of my life and forget that it’s meant to be but a semicolon in the magnificent tale of the King of the Universe. The minute details become an idol to make me forgot who’s really the Author here. I drift toward whatever has caught my attention at the moment, and when I look back over the last several pages, I find a jumble of nonsensical phrases. My life is not meant to be this way: it is meant to be driven by my Savior’s love for me and by whatever love my still-being-healed heart can give to Him.

We find the purpose for the smaller tasks in the purpose of the Big Picture. 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us that whatever we do, we should do it for God’s glory. This includes studying for finals. This includes writing Christmas postcards to my small group of fourth grade girls. This includes every good intention I find myself full of this December. But I don’t want to have so many tasks that I forget the greatest commands: love God and love people. My to-do list can be pared down and accomplished in a way that shows off the awesomeness of the Lord. Through it all, I want to have a thread of purpose so that when the chaos of finals week and the holiday season is all said and done, I can say that my story became a part of His Story. That’s the way it was meant to be, and I don’t ever want to be so distracted by the font of the page numbers that I miss the greatest adventure the world has ever known (coming soon to a bookstore near you).

(P.S. To everyone currently battling the finals monster or general December stress, you can do it! I believe in you!)

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