// October 1 //
Today is the start of a new month. It’s the start of my favorite month of the year. There is nothing that sings to my soul more than nature in the middle of October. The fall leaves turn and become crisp making perfect chips that I love to hear crunch under my feet. The smell of apple cider and camp fires are in the air. And the atmosphere turns into a tender thickness that suggests cold is on its way.
While I did not have time to stop and crunch the leaves beneath my feet, I did have time to realize something else: I need to stop and make time to crunch the leaves beneath my feet.
You see, sometimes I think we get so caught up in everyday life that we forget to enjoy the things we enjoy. We forget to give ourselves the pleasure of experiencing what we truly love.
As midterms at college are quickly approaching and hours at my four jobs are beginning to pick up, I am finding myself overwhelmed. I have tests to study for, papers to write, shifts to work. Where do I find the time to do what I enjoy? I told myself I had to do at least two assignments today. By the end of the day, I only did one. I read my geography chapter on North Africa and the Middle East. I didn’t write either of the two poems I have due, I didn’t write any of the reading responses on my syllabus (or do the readings), and I didn’t study for a large exam in my research class. I began to feel slightly irritated with myself because I did not accomplish what I had intended to.
One of my many jobs is to travel with my college’a worship team and play bass for youth groups. Our first gig was tonight. Usually I would be looking forward to something like this, but since I had so much on my plate, I was not really up to playing bass. But I signed up for it, so I had to.
However, after we ran through the set in rehearsal and then led the students in worship, everything changed. As I plucked the strings on my purple Ibanez, my energy came back to me. My joy began to flow through my veins again. By the end of the service, I took a deep breath and felt okay that I didn’t get two assignments done like I had planned. Even though I hadn’t planned it, I enjoyed what I enjoy doing- playing bass and worshiping the Lord.
It was also a plus that my boss left me a voicemail telling me to come in an hour later to work this week.
The point is, sometimes we have to scheudle time in our lives to do the things we love doing. When things don’t go as planned, I tend to get uptight. When I don’t achieve all that I had planned, I am really good about letting it get to me. I worry a lot about making sure I get everything done and done right. But today I learned that it’s okay to do what I love doing. I learned that even when things don’t go the way I planned, I still had a successful day because I did something I loved.
Nehemiah 8.10b says “do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength”. This is a perfect reminder that we do not need to worry when things don’t go as planned, but to bask in the joy of the Lord!