I would like to call this season of life as “The Stewardship-stretching Faith-firming Season” simply because I have been stretched out to steward the undeserved gifts God has given me – time, talent and treasures – by faith.
I have been in the rounds of being a student-athlete-employee lately. Three to four hours of sleep every mor-night with sore muscles, modules and work obligations on the side. I am still not 100% recovered from my recent appendectomy operation and there is also a calling of loving God first and loving others second that I should never deprioritize in my day-to-day. To be honest, I do not know where I’d be right now if it was not because of His daily grace, peace and mercy which He promised me to come in abundance if I believe.
I was a student-athlete for 8 years. Homeschooled in high school because I was frequently competing abroad and then studied in DLSU as a varsity player and Psychology major. I would think I already know the nitty-gritty of “managing” time, but no. I eventually realized that any attempt to manage time is useless because we cannot manage something we do not own and control in the first place. But we can steward it and surrender it to God because it has been given to us – in a form that is short therefore precious.
I personally think that this is key: Humbling and admitting before God that we cannot do anything apart from Him. John 15:5 is a truth so alive. We cannot be the boss of our schedules because we are not the boss. In James 4:14, we are asked to not be boastful about our planned tomorrows. “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
I can also try to be organized with a planner and GCal at hand all the time. In fact, In Luke 14:28-30, God encourages us to prepare and plot properly as we pray: “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.” But all plans and preparations mean nothing if I only conveniently spend the time and resources God has given for myself.
I can try to overwhelm myself with to-do lists but if the effort to accomplish each does not come from God, I just labor in vain. As said in Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain”. We can work, sure. We can strive, of course. But the only life of any purpose is the one where God Himself is authoritatively working in and watching over.
I am thankful that my first love (Jesus) and my second loves (His people) are more than enough. I am thankful that God laid a purpose in my heart that constantly protects me from being swallowed up by tough days at school, on court and at work.
I am thankful because every time I get frustrated towards how confusing a homework is, how bad my forehand is and/or how swamped work deadlines are, I get reminded that these are not what I am here for – that these are important but these are only means for character-development and ministry. Definitely not my foundation.
I am tired but I do not lose my mind because Jesus is my everything. Wait, let me rephrase that. I am tired but I do not lose my mind because Jesus holds my everything. He wakes me up even before my phone alarms. He brings me to where I need to go safely and conveniently every day. He blesses me with powernaps, warm baths and a cup of coffee to boost my energy. He reminds me to pray when I am wandering. He reminds me to listen to His word when I am distracted. He gives me godly mentors to keep me sane. He gives me free hugs from my church family. Oh what grace.
Jesus takes care of me.
The world may see me as a student-athlete-employee today and temporarily, but He sees me as His daughter today and eternally. And I am thankful. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).