A different kind of thanksgiving.
Today I’m very low on energy. Partially because I haven’t had lunch, and partially because I just want to sleep. I know, I know, we really shouldn’t be skipping meals. But oh well, sometimes I’m badly behaved. I’m sitting here at my desk wondering where the summer has gone to. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was lamenting not having an internship? Then I finally got one? And then I completed my first internship of the summer. And I began this current one? Wow. Oh how faithful my God has been! *warning- long post ahead, but I promise you, it's well worth a read*
Notwithstanding, I’ve learned a few things this year, and a few quick lessons this summer. I feel inspired to share some of them.
This year, I finally began to believe that I am smart, although my GPA may tell a different story haha. I have finally begun to love and appreciate my ability to write. I now love the fact that I can read a complex and lengthy document (in great time) and summarize and explain it in very simple language, without losing its essence. I can make complex and sophisticated arguments about diverse topics. I can write a really long paper, while sustaining a given thesis, and wow you with both my argument and writing haha.
If you’ve been following my growth over the years (or through this blog), you’ll know why this is such a big deal to me.
I don’t know, but writing is something that I think about very much. I love the art of writing, and I love how writing makes me feel. This explains why my blog means so much to me, and why when all I want to do is sleep, you’ll find my hunched over my computer putting posts together- editing and re-editing, until I have a decent piece of work to present!
2016 was the year that I finally began to believe that I too, could excel in school. I had lived most of my secondary school years (2005-2011) in the bottom half (or quarter, or 10%) of my class, and although I did well in A’Levels, I really could have done better if I was more hard-working and diligent. I had internalized the belief that I couldn’t perform above a given measure so much that I didn’t even try.
I focused instead on my faith, and although I made leaps and bounds spiritually, I erroneously believed that I had to sacrifice excellent grades for the other.
My bible was not the reason why I didn’t study hard enough, fear was. I often was so afraid to try and fail that I wouldn’t try at all. Rather than spend adequate time writing a paper or studying for exams, I would spend my time reading my bible. While this is inherently not bad (it’s commendable), I sacrificed excellence at the altar of fear, which disguised itself as desire to grow in my faith.
At the beginning of this year, my one prayer point was for God to give me the spirit of gratitude. I definitely have mentioned that here on the blog, and it’s a wonder that despite everything, I am beyond grateful. It’s the best feeling. Gratitude has made me realize that even when I thought all hope was lost, God was there with me all along.
Gratitude has made me realize this truth which I share with you- God wants us to be successful in all endeavors- academic, financial, and otherwise. God doesn’t want us to come with Him in fear and trembling all the time, but for our devotion to be motivated by pure love.
And even when we fail, God is still there. He corrects our wrongs. He takes us to schools which we do not deserve. He gives us friends that love us despite everything. He shows us our wrongs and teaches us how to improve.
I remember my mother once told me about how my little brother, Miko learned to ride a bicycle. In our former house, we had a large expanse of land in the backyard, where my brother was learning to ride his bicycle. After trying and failing several times, he started to cry. But he continued to try. My mother heard him crying from the other side of the house and came to check out what was wrong with him. When she saw the scene, I can bet that she was laughing with her mischievous self! Anyway, she held the bicycle- one hand on the front stem, and the second hand on the back carried. She held the bicycle, running all around until Miko was riding by himself.
When she told me this story, she was laughing and teasing Miko, as she frequently teases all of us. But that story has remained in my heart for a long time. And it always reminds me of God. You know, He’s the parent who will share a laugh with you (or at you), but still encourage you not to get so frustrated at a difficult situation. Then He will hold your hands (or your bicycle) until you become a skilled rider.
Now let me tell you why I wrote this post- school starts in less than a month and I’m getting anxious. I’ve never had a full blown panic attack (or at least one that I’ve recognized as such), but I’m pretty close to one right now. I want to do really well in school. I want to graduate with an excellent result. My parents have worked too hard for me to not do exceedingly well in school. God has been too faithful for me to not give Him an excellent result as my thanksgiving offering.
But as I think about school, and what excellence demands, I get scared. Can I do it? Can I sustain the diligence that is required to finish well? Can I sacrifice my love for silly shows to spend more time at my computer, writing, re-writing, and editing my papers until all my work is excellent? Will I resist the temptation of a few more minutes of sleep to be punctual to all my classes and to meet all deadlines?
Of course, of course, God can do it. But I don’t want to stand in His way. Laziness stands against God’s will for us. Dis-obedience stands against God’s best for us. Will I be consistent in my work? Will I sustain my focus and motivation? Will I pull through?
In all these thoughts, there’s one thing that I want God to know- I will put in my best work, if He promises to be by my side. If He gives me favor, I’ll give Him a reason to be proud of me. If He holds my hand through the fire that is academic work. I will continue to praise His name on this blog, and in my life.
I just want to be a excellent student. And although I know that to finish school with excellent grades, you kinda have to start building from day one, I promise that once God gives me another chance to pay my GPA debt (as a good friend once said), I’ll do my best to make Him proud.
Haha, this is a classic example of what you shouldn’t do- not give your best through your first one (or two) years in university then begin to beg God for second chances on the eve of your senior year. Some of us are bad gang, you can do better haha! Don’t be like me please, take your life more seriously from day one!
Anyway, I am hopeful, to be honest! I thought I could not discover and sustain a passion, but God has proven to me that when I obey Him, He will fuel my enthusiasm and enable me to perform above my expectations. Case in point- this blog. Although I started the blog about a year and a half ago, it’s really been God all along, and the past six months have seen a more consistent and focused Alheri.
Oh well, as usual, stay tuned because this will only end in praise for God. He who began the good work in me will certainly bring it to completion. That one thing is certain.
Fun fact- I started this blog post not knowing exactly what I wanted to say. Hence, the random mention of the fact that I haven’t had lunch and that I’m sitting at my desk low on energy. But oh well, they always say to do it afraid, and the Lord will supply. This God even supplies blog posts hahaha!