When I’m at home I’m torn between two churches: the church where I grew up and a church geared towards a college demographic. On any usual Sunday, I will attend my church in the morning and then go with my friends to the more contemporary church that night for their late night service. As I was gearing up to come back north to start another semester I became a bit overwhelmed by all I was going to have to do when I returned. First I would be coming back to go head first into sorority recruitment for the first time; then I would have to jump into new classes; then I would have my regular Lighthouse duties; then I would have to plan the upcoming retreats; all the while, I would have to continue my healthy eating plan and new exercise routine. Mission impossible so it would seem…but one night at this late night service my mindset changed.
The pastor referred that night to OCD: Orange County Disorder, an overwhelming epidemic particularly amongst young people in the California south land which enables us to turn our wants into needs and change our aspirations into pressurized expectations. (Needless to say this was just a creative play on words to connect this pattern to our location but there is no doubt in my mind that OCD could really be UPS disorder just as easily.) The pastor challenged us to start to look at this debilitating disorder differently.
He said that when we as followers of Christ, regardless of culture, country, state, language, or denomination, look at the teachings of Christ we get caught up in what Jesus says and does and we forget to look at how he does what he does!
We forget that Christ, while on Earth, set time apart to talk to God. In the garden on the night Jesus was betrayed, Jesus went with his disciples and prayed. He checked in with the boss to make sure he was doing what was in accordance to God’s will. He turned to God at every turn; it was a pattern, like breathing- exhaling out the concerns and inhaling perspective. A stagnant pool of water, over time, begins to stink; we have to be connected to our source of living water to stay vibrant and alive! We need to, like Christ, be in communication with the Father. Parents know the sound of their children’s voices- he longs for us to know the sound of his voice- we cannot learn it until we enter in relationship with him that is long lasting and important. We cannot have a relationship with God without talking to him
On this night, Jesus was about to be crucified by those whom he loved so much and came to save; yet I forget to pray when I am facing the incredibly brutal task of writing a blog? Planning a retreat? Reading a syllabus?
God is here for us; he waits for us to call to him with our hardships and share with him in our joys. But we have to call on him.
Now, as we are all quickly approaching the start of another semester, we have to take time apart, and put our worries in the hands of the one who can handle them.