The amazing thing about knowing God's will for my life is, I do not have to be bothered with the trivial (temporary) things of the world anymore. Okay, things still bother me, but not as much.
I have finished two out of my four final papers so far. The translation paper was okay, I guess. But I don't think I did my best for my media ethics paper; I know there were some parts of the questions that I could have answered better if I had been more focused while studying or doing the exam. Somehow though, I find peace in me. I realize I'm no longer bothered by how well or badly I did for each paper like it used to bother me. In previous semesters, I would obsess and regret over the way I answered my papers even well into the semester breaks. But yesterday, walking out of the exam hall, my worries were absent because, somehow, I have surrendered it all to Him. And that's the most liberating thing I've done in a long time. I think it's the freedom of knowing I'm put here for a greater purpose than just to be the perfect student. Of course, it'll be nice if I can continue to maintain a perfect CGPA, but I have decided, that will not be the thing that defines my life here in college.
It's a revelation I got from Bong Yang, one of my hostel prayer leaders, during prayer meeting the night before my paper. He asked us to look at a few verses in the Bible that talked about the Great Commission. One of them, Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV) say that, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
If the Great Commission in the Bible commands us to share the Gospel and bring people to Christ, then why should we be more bothered with exams than with seeing that our friends still do not know Christ? After all, we are put here on earth to do God's will. If we are not doing that in life, then why should we even be bothered about things that are outside our most primary purpose of being here, right? Souls are eternal; results won't even mean anything anymore two years out of college. So given a choice, every Christian should choose to dedicate more time and effort into God's Kingdom, not just merely putting all the time that one has into one's studies. I admit I'm guilty of that many times, of letting my worldly worries overtake my faith in Him and the time I spend with Him. But to hear the revelation on Thursday night was like a slap on my back to wake me up. So what if others expect me to do well in exam and I don't reach their expectations? I have greater things to achieve in life--and those greater things are the things of God--than to make sure I fit into my friends' perception of me.
And you know what's more amazing? Matthew 6:33 says, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." So if we actually make God and doing His work our first priority in life, He will reward us in other areas of our life. I've heard of many testimonies of students who sacrificed the time they could have used to study in order to make time for God and to be with their friends who were in need, only to achieve the best results in class. They didn't credit their achievement to their own abilities, but to the fact that they honored God. If you honor God first, He'll honor you. And that's the same in every area of a person's life, whether you're a student, a busy corporate employee or a housewife with too much to handle at home. We are not supposed to worry that much or try that hard!
I know, it's really hard to keep this in perspective when the worries that seem so immediate and near are haunting us at the back of our heads. I still struggle with putting God first sometimes, because there are just so many distractions in life. But I think I'm making my first steps toward that by learning to be not bothered with life so much anymore. I believe that the more I bother about God's things and less about worldly things, the more I'll find reward in everything I do. Yes, I was a worrywart. But I'm happy to say that I'm finding more and more freedom each day from being able to surrender all things to God. If bad news happen, it happens to bring me closer to God's will.
All these do not mean I am no longer a perfectionist--I'm still very much one, but I no longer seek perfection in everything that I do. Because I'm not bothered.