Well, it's that time in a college student's life… Exams.
On these exams rides all of my hopes of getting A's in all of my classes, having a fabulous GPA, and keeping my scholarship.
While I was considering all of this today, I felt trapped. Trapped in the expectations that I put on myself. Trapped in this seemingly never-ending route of doing my best and trying to get the grade. Trapped and going nowhere.
It kind of feels like being stuck in a fishbowl. A place with nowhere to go but in circles, doing the same thing over and over again.
My mom always told that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result each time. Let me tell you, this fishbowl I'm in feels like insanity.
Listen, I have put in the time studying. I have put in the time studying before for each test, each quiz and gave my 100 percent on every assignment. WHY AM I SO STRESSED?
Because in the fishbowl the same things keep coming up over and over again and instead of a different result, I fall back to the same thing over and over again. Swimming in circles.
Someone reading this might be saying, "Okay. I get it. What is your point?!"
My point is this: Everyone has their own fishbowl. Everyone has that one thing that makes them so frustrated or stressed or upset that they start swimming in circles. Everyone has one. As imperfect, stubborn humans, we all probably have more than one fishbowl.
The problem with the fishbowl is that the perspective is all wrong. In the fishbowl, swimming in circles, you can only see what is ahead of you. You're just looking at "What's next in this thing that makes me so frustrated, upset, or stressed?" You never take your eyes off of that thing. You just keep chasing it and swimming in circles.
Two of the BEST words in the Bible. A phrase so small that means so much.
Here is what God has to say about our fishbowls:
"For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and of sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7
"But we have the mind of Christ…"
1 Corinthians 2:16
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."
God hasn't given us a fishbowl with a fishy perspective. He has given us quite the opposite. He has given us a spirit of power, love, and sound mind. He has promised to make our paths straight if we just trust Him.
God doesn't put us in the fishbowl; our sinfulness, stubbornness, and pure humanity puts us in the fishbowl.
But God has given us the mind of Christ.
He gave us a vast ocean in all its infiniteness full of His marvelous grace, mercy, love, and glory! He wants us to swim in His ocean, in His waters. He doesn't want us to keep swimming in circles but He wants us to move forward. He wants us to have room to grow and to constantly ask, "What do you have for me next, God?" He will show you because He is the one who makes our paths straight.
The best part is, when we get stuck in our little fishbowl, He will show up. He will take us out of that fishbowl and put us in His ocean.
"They cried to the Lord in their trouble and He delivered them from their distress."
He delivers us. And because of that deliverance we are to worship Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. He is so worthy!
Thank you, Father, for your ocean of grace, mercy, love, and glory!
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I am currently a teacher and life-long student of Scripture learning more about life and Jesus's marvelous love and boundless grace.