One thing that didn’t quite register as I stepped out of my family’s run down minivan on Move-In Day was how much my life was changing. Now don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a story about how we need to appreciate life more, I think we had enough of that in high school to last two lifetimes. No, the cynic in me is much more inclined to write about the absolute terror I faced the few weeks after my converse-clad feet hit Mac circle.
Within two weeks I had been forced to talk to more people than I had in the entire past year (yes, it was horrifying); I had walked from Shadowlands to Mac alone, in the dark, while every Walmart bag I was holding decided it would be fun to stop carrying my purchases and rip instead. To top it all off, I had moved more than twenty dead moldy cats from the Biology Lab closet to the mailroom to be shipped to a place much better equipped to handle such a situation, than I.
All these events, and many more, led me to beg the question: is this really it? Is this all there is? Scary new encounters, uncertainty, and obligation?
I quickly realized that it didn’t matter how much I studied or how many times I tried to organize myself, I would still forget about the Chemistry quiz on Friday, and, even if I had known about it, I have no idea where I would find the time to study for it. I learned to console myself with Billy Joel while mourning the day the dreaded quiz would inevitably show up in my mailbox as I walked over to Mills for more adventures with formaldehyde.
At the risk of sounding completely cliche, all of these nightmares were necessary. No one has ever gotten anywhere by being comfortable. I had been consumed by the overwhelming nature of my predicament, when I should have been consumed by the hope that Jesus provides. Consumed by the beauty of the Overlook at six a.m. when most out there are still sleeping, and by the kind, smart and beautiful people surrounding me who are always willing to talk over curly fries—people who, somehow, I didn’t even know a month ago.
You see, the thing that I so often forget is that my heart will always be restless until I rest in Him. By grace, I have been blessed to live in a community with fellow believers, in a place where Christ is preeminent: He is supreme over your close call with the campus golf carts, over being late on your first day, even over time standing still in your PE class. And he really is working everything out for the good of those who love him.
Even the poor cats, in all their awfulness, were a bit of grace, a stepping stone to getting to know my amazing work study partners better. You may never have to see a moldy cat in your lifetime, and I pray to God you won’t, but if you do or if something comes along this semester or in the rest of your life that leaves you desperately wanting to run back into the confines of your cozy old minivan, remember that it too will pass. Christ is still at work.