My agenda for today includes: two classes, three assignments, four readings, two group project meetings, and a lot of coffee.
This is the third year I’ve been in college, and I still struggle with motivation. Will my literature homework help me in my career 10 years from now? I doubt it. Is this reading on Old English going to make or break my chances at graduation? Probably not. But I’m still going to do it. Why?
As a full time student, I think of college as my job. This is the means to reaching my personal and career goals. It’s also a chance to glorify God by taking the opportunities He has blessed me with.
It’s not really a normal job. Rarely do I work from 9 to 5. Often I’m hitting the books all weekend and spending sleepless nights pouring over notes before an exam. In the moment, it can feel like the most stressful thing I’ve ever experienced! That’s when temptation kicks in.
You know that feeling. Your eyes are drooping or your phone is buzzing and you think I’ll just take a short break. Two days and 14 Lost episodes later, you remember the project is due soon - in an hour.
Ah, procrastination. The ultimate lack of motivation.
Where do we lose our motivation? Many of the wise men in the Bible suggest it comes from short-sightedness:
"The sluggard will not plow during the planting season, so at harvest time he looks for the crop but has nothing.” Proverbs 20:4 (NET)
When you look at your assignments at the beginning of a semester, do you take the time to “plow”? Do you plan ahead or come up with a way to break down the task? Or are you like me, avoiding it altogether until the very last minute?
If we put off what needs to be done, we will not get the results we are expecting. We cannot harvest success in an area where we do not plant and cultivate hard work. Every time we put off work in favor of distractions, we end up hurting ourselves.
The writers of the proverbs also say "The appetite of the sluggard craves but gets nothing, but the desire of the diligent will be abundantly satisfied” (13:4). When we keep our end goal in mind, our current struggles become less important. By putting in the effort needed now, we allow our satisfaction to come from something beyond the immediate. Our hard work glorifies the God who created us.
I pray that your hard work will bring abundant satisfaction! Even more, I pray that your diligence will point to God’s eternal glory. Hang in there!
“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31)
Kaitlin Silvey, Impact at IUPUI Student President