Monday, November 08, 2004

The plodding trap

Maybe you've felt it yourself; you start a school year with every intention, yes, even zeal to just go for it and stay focused. The first week begins and you experience only moderate success... A little shifting in the schedule is the last bit needed to completely distract you from accomplishing your goals. Now you stand wondering what happened and why you can't seem to keep on track with good study habits and such.

Well, I think by now you are under the impression that this has been my experience--after all, it is in the middle of the school day and normal people don't sit around and do self-assessment on a busy day like this. Yes, yes, I admit it. I'm a little concerned about what kind of habits I am developing. I know they have improved over my last couple years...but accepting that level of success is like choosing to drink the lesser of two deadly poisons.

It's not that I want to be skipping through school like it is a cakewalk--it's not and therefore that kind of flippant attitude would not do. Neither do I want to rush blindly ahead as if my destiny (tripping and falling) is only a matter of time. But equally wrong is my tendency to just plod along and not keep up my level of alertness. I can sit through a boring lecture and fall asleep if I'm not careful--it happens. If I'm not especially interested in a particular reading in Literature, the temptation is to just let it slide and tell myself I will just write on another, more interesting piece. I'm plodding.

What’s the ideal? I want to think that I could be determinedly running through the school year with such precision that a high level of alertness and zeal will finally become second nature. Is that too much to expect? You bet! No, the best I can settle for is really my only option; that is, I must find my help and motivation in honoring God in my work. It is only here in this way of thinking that I can find true blessing in not only accomplishing my goals, but also finding joy in my work. I know I have been blessed beyond measure and to not acknowledge it in thanksgiving is what will lead to slothfulness. So the answer to my plodding spirit is to actively praise and give thanks for the good that God has wrought in this seemingly insignificant life of mine.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:28
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