by Ruth Hallstead
Only 696 hours until finals are over. But who’s counting, anyway? It’s easy to get wrapped up in thinking, I just have to make it until _____. Counting down the days, hours, minutes until something exciting, whether it be the end of a class, a vacation, summer, a concert, anything. This is a dangerous place to be though—if you’re always looking forward to something exciting, you often miss all the fun stuff along the way! When I was younger, I used to get so excited for the end or beginning of something, that by the time I got there it couldn’t possibly live up to my expectations and I was almost always disappointed. Not only that, I realized I was totally blind to any small (or even big) things in between. Getting to sleep in, seeing a nice sunrise, running into a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, stuff like that. I was always so ready for X to happen that I missed A-W! I worked (and continue to work) really hard to fix this mindset, because while sometimes you do simply have to grin and bear it, that only gets you so far. Every day has something wonderful in it—or at least not totally awful. On a grander scale, sometimes Christians are criticized for our view that this life is temporary, and greater things await us in heaven. Let’s go to the Psalmist for some wisdom about that. “I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13). In this Psalm, David alternates between praising the Lord, asking to be delivered from his enemies, and speaking about life after death. I think we can take a major life lesson from David here. Yes, life everlasting is going to be amazing. But so is life now! For the short term, yes, being done with finals will be great and it’s okay to be excited. But don’t let anticipation take over your life. We CAN’T skip to the good part. Or we’ll miss all the good parts in between! As you trudge through this week and the next, go ahead and get excited about fun things coming up. But don’t forget to stop and smell the roses. Bask in the sun. Read a chapter of a good book. Lay in bed for five more minutes. Rejoice in whatever is happening right now. And then rejoice in whatever happens next!