One of the things that I have seen as a blessing through taking this cross country season off to rest is that I have taken the opportunity to do things that I would not have done if I was training, such as staying up late. There’s no point in not taking advantage of opportunities that come up. Although it’s not what I was used to, why not enjoy the special occasions? The Bible tells us to “make the most of every opportunity” no matter what the circumstances are (Colossians 4:5). Time is something you will never get back, so why not get the most out of it?
It has amazed me how there are always events happening here on campus. Between constant events and homework, there is rarely to never time to be bored. Some days there are so many options, it actually stresses me out that I don’t know what to choose! One night I had already had a fun day out and about and eating, but the Elam RA’s were hosting a painting night in the lobby. It didn’t start until 10 p.m., but that is something that caught my attention. By the time that I got back to the dorm, changed into my pj’s, and ready to go down to paint, it was almost 11:00, but I really wanted to do it! There were still plenty of people down there and plenty left when I was finished.
This was one of my latest nights, but it was worth it. I got to talk with new people that I hadn’t met that were basically my neighbors. It was also great to take time to just relax and be creative. Some girls did really elaborate and impressive paintings, but others were simple. Some had words while others were just images.
It took me a long time to decide, but I choose to make two pictures that were very relevant to where I was at in my life. The Elam residence hall theme for the year is “delight,” using Psalm 37:4, which is also one of my favorite verses. If you take it literally, it will not always come true. But God’s Word is never false, so people say. This is true. This takes a deep understanding of what a life for Christ is about. It’s like a circle of repeating events. The more that you delight in the Lord, the more that becomes what your heart desires. His joy and contentment has no comparison, and nothing else can provide it. When you find this feeling, you begin to want it more and more. Then the desire for the Lord will be filled by Him. That is what I have found in so many circumstances. When I stop focusing on controlling my circumstances and live in the moment, embracing what God has put right in front of me, I have found more joy than when I am focused on what I want to plan.
This leads me to the second verse that I painted: “Live by faith” (2 Corinthians 5:7). To follow where God leads and to see what He wants you to do requires that you have faith in what He is doing. Now that life here on campus is totally different from my routines at home, faith is something that has repeatedly come to me. Though I do not know what a day will bring, I can live in faith that God is working a good plan. When I put this trust in Him and live in the moment, I find that I am filled with joy and long for more of it.
Elam has also done a bonfire, Bible studies, cookouts, games, decorating, Tuesday night pancakes and much more, as well as upcoming events like the Halloween Party. Hopefully I will share about some more of these soon!
Has your dorm done any fun or inspiring activities? What are some themes you see reoccurring around you lately? Consider what they may be really trying to say to you.