By Talitha Greaver
College is busy, right? We fill our schedules with friends, studying, work, extra curriculars, and on occasion even sleep. You don’t need me to tell you about all the stuff you’re doing. If you’re like me, you’re painfully aware of how long your to-do list is, and how little of it you ever seem to check off of it. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in all of that, especially at this point in the semester, when the sheen of the new has begun to wear off and the finish line is still so very far away. It’s easy to feel the self-doubt creep in: that this time, no matter how hard you try, it won’t be enough. You won’t be enough.
Let’s all just take a collective deep breath here.
So—sorry if this feels like a non sequitur, transitions are hard—there was once this guy named Jesus, and he had these disciple buddies. The disciples were mostly college-aged, like us, and they were trying to learn from Jesus while they followed him around. I’m sure at times that was incredibly stressful and overwhelming. Like there was this one time (John 6), a huge crowd of 5,000 men, plus women and children came to see Jesus, and Jesus goes, “How’re we going to feed them all?” Talk about an overwhelming homework assignment! Andrew, being that one group project member who actually tries, manages to find a kid with five loaves and two fish. He must’ve felt ridiculous bringing that to Jesus. He tried his best, and it just didn’t feel like it was enough. I mean how could that possibly be enough for a Memorial Stadium-sized crowd? Are you getting sympathy stress for Andrew? Because I am. He must have felt like a fool and a failure. Like his best just wasn’t cutting it for the job set out before him, no matter how hard he tried.
But Jesus didn’t laugh in Andrew’s face, or kick him out of the group, or give him an F on the assignment. Jesus took those five loaves and two fish, and he did what Jesus does. He takes us at our worst, at our not enough, at our failure, and he makes it suffice. In fact, he makes it an abundance: they gathered back twelve baskets-worth of food. Now I’m not a math major, but that adds up to miraculous.
This is the paradox of Christian living: I know I am not enough. And I know in Christ, my self suffices. I am simultaneously a fallen sinner and a beloved saint. So let’s all just take another deep, slow breath, and give ourselves a break. We’re doing our best. No matter what our to-do lists, our GPAs, or our messy rooms tell us, we are already enough.