By Lee Benson
And no, I’m not talking about that tub of Rocky Road in the freezer or tickets to the NBA finals.
Think about it for a second.
What is there in this world that you would honestly give your life for?
Maybe it’s not a what, but a who. Maybe it’s a cause, a country, or a freedom.
If you want to, make a list. Then read it over.
Is your university education on it?
It’s not on mine.
Yet somehow as we come down the home stretch, juggling a dozen papers, presentations, and exams, it seems like university is all there is.
We’ve all been there, sitting in front of the computer screen at six in the morning straining to find words enough to fill the last three pages, knowing we’ve only got about two hours left.
It seems like a matter of life or death and it could be one of pass or fail. As the sun peels back the grey haze of dawn, nothing is more important. But how important is it really?
When we’re in the moment, it’s all there is.
It feels like our very existence hinges on getting out those last seven hundred words. If we don’t pass this class, we can’t graduate. We’ll never get a good job. If we don’t get a good job we’ll never amount to anything.
But what about the list?
Was becoming CEO of a Fortune 500 company on there? How about having the nicest car on the block? Becoming the most recognized authority in your academic field? Graduating from STU?
I’m not trying to make these desires or goals seem wrong, because they’re not.
What I’m struggling with is the priority that we, that I, give them.
I mean, part of me wants these things too. I want to be recognized. I want people to be impressed with me, to acknowledge me. If I don’t become the best, the smartest, the most-well respected in my field then what have I got?
See, my thought is this: why devote every minute of my life to something I’m not actually willing to give my life for? Why would I give it priority over the things I feel are most important?
It sounds kind of extreme, but when you think about it, it’s not. In fact, it would probably be your natural reflex. It’s kind of like that country song, “Live like You Were Dying.” If you were told you had one year to live, what would you do?
Well, no one knows how many years they have left. But how different would your life be if you made the things on your list your top priorities, in spite of the pressure to become something you feel you should?
Be content with who you are and what you desire. If you want a university education, go for it. But if it’s not for you, don’t be ashamed. Be proud for figuring that out about yourself and know you’re going to become something great anyway.
The Bible says, “If you’re content simply to be yourself, your life will count for plenty.”
If you want your bachelor, your master, your double PhD, go for it! But don’t ever feel you need it to be somebody special. You already are
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