If there is one word that defines my activity in life, that would be “plan.” While I do enjoy things now, sometimes I make too many long-term goals, which turns into substantial worry and uneasiness in life. As you have seen in the recent posts dealing with educational qualms, there is nothing wrong with learning things unconventionally. And while I am more open minded than I used to be concerning plans, I still find myself preoccupied with the goal for a certain career and other future factors.
Well, the answer is simple: one day at a time! I brag about it more than I adhere to it. In Mat 6:34, Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow. And even tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, let alone next month, next year, etc. Yet I am so focused on coordinating future plans not for what they will be, but what they should be. College dreams are a top example.
The first textbook in the above row is the one currently for school use, which I currently use for my lone college class this semester in Psychology. The middle text is an aging (dating from 2002) but still amazing text dealing with cell biology, heavy both literally and figuratively. (It contains over 1600 pages!) That textbook, like most I obtain, is “just for fun.” And with enough prep from that and further knowledge of chemistry (especially organic), and the fact that both introductory and organic chemistry have good online texts, I’ll be ready for the right-hand book on plant physiology, which I have owned countless times, in different editions (one of which was a rental). This copy isn’t current either (also from 2002), but it sufficed for the price. And again, I intend it for mere pleasure reading. By the way, it hasn’t arrived yet; it’s still in the mail.
An out-of-print book from 1978 (which therefore makes it somewhat obsolete but still with some truth), entitled College on Your Own, reveals how you can rival college-level expertise in a number of fields, such as history, math, science, psychology, philosophy, economics, etc. While I enjoy classroom settings, I am equally apt at self-learning, wherein the latter may in fact may allow for more “personally relevant” applications and implications. As you may guess, the book equally advocates both degree completion (for career potential) and personal knowledge (just for the sake of it, which, as a Christian myself, can help expose God’s wonders in nature more intimately.)
Finally, being Sunday as I type this portion, I thought I would it would be appropriate to include a summary of my church service’s sermon! It was out of Esther, a book known to be the only book In Scripture not to mention the name “God.” We all know about the fact we should take up our cross and follow Jesus, and do what is right even when it isn’t always fun. (In a nutshell, the Jews were about to be exterminated, and Esther (a Jew) takes the great risk of entering a potentially lethal situation, to protect the Jews. In a way, Jesus was the ultimate Esther, since, as God incarnate, while He was sinless, He became sin to absolve believers from their sin, in his Passion culminating in his death, followed by resurrection.) And this is an eternal sacrifice, not just the temporal one faced by Esther.
So for me, what does this mean, based on the “one day at a time” mantra? Well, God is sovereign and the people, places, and things in life he brings are all part of his grand scheme (cf. Rom 8:28). And they need not always be pleasant. You never know what’s going to happen next year, or even tomorrow (which isn’t guaranteed anyway). Thus, we should embrace what you can do now rather than worry or excessively plan the next steps.