I am not sure if they even make the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books anymore but, I have been dreaming about them lately. The tension would build as I slowly turned the pages, and when I reached a page in which I was required to make a choice, I would choose one without imagining the possible consequences of said choice.
Most of the time, I would choose the path that would lead to my character dying or being held prisoner, and while I could always go back and choose the other option, I knew life would not be so kind.
There are only four weeks left of this semester and I know the power of my choices will determine how I finish this wonderfully challenging spring as well as what comes next for me.
So why should this matter to you? Some of you are freshman and are experiencing this final push for the first time. Some of you are old hats by now and yet still fall prey to stress (mostly self-induced) during the last four weeks.
Each tick of the hand on my watch reminds me I have a choice to make. Each breath, each inhale, and each exhale remind me I need to decide what comes next. Life is nothing but choices. Should I take this class or that one? Should I watch this or turn off all technology? Should I let stress ruin my life or do I take five minutes to scream and let all of it out? Should I spend time in worship or sleep? Should I stay at the library for twelve hours or do I go to dinner with friends?
I propose that we start making choices that push us out of our comfort zone. That each decision we make in the final weeks not only challenge us to grow but also shape our walk, our voice, and our work. We can choose to shine. We can choose to ask more questions in order to better understand someone else’s viewpoint. We can choose to stop watching Netflix (I know how hard this is) and instead choose to help a friend proofread his or her research paper.
Time is flying. And we must choose to do something.
I propose that we begin to deepen our relationships with friends, family, and God. We are blessed to be on a campus committed to service and relationships. We could reach out to someone we don’t know and make a new friend.
Take time to thank those who we often take for granted, like the staff in Stevens or in our individual departments. I say we choose to celebrate our fantastic staff in the Den and the Bon.
Especially now as Easter Sunday has been recently celebrated, it is important to remember we have the free will to choose how we live and love. Christ died for each of us. He made a decision to sacrifice himself for the entire world. His death and resurrection allows us to move towards Him without the shackles of this world.
I admit my decisions have not always been wise; however, I realize the importance of each moment and I want to choose paths that not only bring me closer to God but allow me to pour into others. So instead of binge watching my favorite shows, I get to work on three really challenging papers this weekend. And I choose to remember that one man’s sacrifice allows me a chance to help others by serving. When I make choices that serve myself, I am not helping anyone, especially me.
I encourage you to consider your choices during the next four weeks. Are you choosing to lean in to the chaos or are you choosing to avoid it? There are so many people rooting for you to succeed. Don’t let the weight of the work weigh you down. Instead, choose to remember that each moment is a gift in which we learn and grow but also a chance to honor Christ’s sacrifice by choosing to do things that encourage others.