T. S. Eliot wrote, To arrive where you are, to get where you are not, You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy. It's a heartening thought that contains some pearls of truth. For years we have been taught that anything worth doing demands our time and our work. The adage, No pain, no gain, rings in our ear.
Certainly in many of your courses, your attentiveness to study and reading is a requirement. It's not glamorous, and sometimes requires that you say no to other activities you might prefer to be part of. But duty calls.
There are some similarities to life as well. We could choose to follow the crowds. It sometimes appears to be an easier path. We could choose to turn a deaf ear to the call of our heart to engage in activities that make a difference in life, even if that difference is noticed by very few. We could resign ourselves to the thinking that we just don't want to go through all the trouble to accomplish what we know we can accomplish.
In Matthew 7:14 Jesus said The way is hard that leads to life, and those that find it are few. These words of Christ may at first sound harsh, but
remember that the life of which Jesus speaks is a life "abundant and free." It is a life filled with purpose and meaning and direction. It is a life in which you life out your calling from God and in doing so you find greater joy, peace, and happiness than this world could ever offer.
As you begin a new semester of courses, and though the way before you may be filled with challenges, remember that God is with you in all you do. That's a promise that will never fail.
God's blessings and peace,
January 4, 2008