Any prayer requests?
That’s how my lit prof always starts class. This morning I was thinking, wishing I were there right now to shoot up my hand.
Yes! I have praise!
Although, I have to admit, that isn’t how I woke up.
It’s finals week. I was cranky and annoyed as well as emotionally drained from writing some pretty personal stories for my two thesis classes.
Like normal I reached for my phone to check the time – up before my alarm yet again.
This time I had a few text messages. One friend said some things I didn’t want to hear. Just like friends to share that sort of stuff we just have to hope it’s to benefit us, not to sting.
I was in a fine mood as I walked out to get started on breakfast. Scrambled eggs would help get me out of that funk right?
That’s what I was praying, anyway, just before I shared my news with my roommate as she headed out to class.
I brought my computer out to listen to a sermon. Recently in a crisis of emotion I told another roommate to listen to Tim Keller; it would calm her down. For once I actually took my own advice.
Next on my iTunes queue for Keller was "Born into Hope."
Great. I just love listening to positive people…
Misery loves company and I really wanted some at that point.
My annoyance at the title decreased as Keller started talking about Concentration Camps in the first part of his sermon – hands down my life is not that bad.
He quoted Viktor Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning) who observed his fellow prisoners in Auschwitz. Dr. Frankl saw “life only has meaning if we have a hope and a meaning that suffering and even death cannot destroy.”
And suddenly it was all okay.
I was still stressed, and tired, and hurt, but that wasn’t the point. Keller went on to say that
Joy lets you just sorrow. Doesn’t harden you or make you bitter or cynical. The sorrow makes you wiser. What you have is an amazing picture of the life that almost any reflective person would want. You have an enormous life. You don’t run from sorrow. The joy enables you to have sorrow. You don’t run from it! It softens you and wisens you. (paraphrase)My is beyond where I am right now. My joy is beyond my sorrow, even if it doesn’t end it. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay, because this isn’t where I stay.