Banks’ new album is on repeat and I’m eating dry cereal. I have no other food left in my dorm room, and I’ve committed to camping out in front of my keyboard until something poignant and artful emerges. Cinnamon Life don’t fail me now.
I’m back at Cedarville for my third year. Everyone knows me as “That girl from the radio station” because I am what I do. Which is definitely not a coincidence but not the whole story either.
I owe whatever mental recognition I may have among the student population to Resound Radio, my place of employment/second home/life’s work. This year I’m in charge of the DJ staff. Meaning I pass on to the DJs knowledge on that others have selflessly poured into me. I’m still on-air live four days a week. Mix that with a full class load and cue a very busy Angela. I’m the one striding confidently past you on the sidewalk with earbuds in, furiously scheduling something in iCal.
When something matters to me, or when something is making my heart itch with impatience, it usually bubbles to the surface somehow. Meaning also, eventually, I talk about it on-air. Radio is life, life is radio. The best inspiration comes from reality and the most honest breaks make you the most likable to listeners. So I hit the mic and I share things I feel. It’s not like “Angela’s therapy session” but it’s “Hey, I feel this. Maybe you do too.”
Perhaps it makes sense, then, why I shared my most recent misconception on our radio show:
Somewhere along these initial weeks of breakneck-paced, jam-packed college days, I began seeing the busyness I filled my life with as holy. I took pride in having full days. Throwing up prayers between commitments, I walked from class to meeting and back again with my head held high. I held a sense of purpose deriving almost entirely from my accomplishments.
Where did that come from?
Lots of added benefits come along with glorifying busyness. First, you push people away because, of course, “The work comes first”. Then you stop dealing with those nagging spiritual and emotional issues because being busy takes your mind off what needs to change. You think you’re doing well.
Then you look around…and you’re surrounded by the trinkets you’ve created. This is where pride kicks in, because oftentimes the view is pretty nice.
Awesome art. Quality writing. Aced schoolwork and met quotas.
Pats on the back all around.
But you’re empty.
Because you forgot to invest in the one thing that truly matters:
Melodramatic assertion? Perhaps. But I’ve watched it happen over and over again in my own life.
You can’t really wholeheartedly chase your dreams and love people well at the same time. So how do we make this work?
It’s true that we make time for things that matter to us. That means the first priority needs to be Jesus if we want all these auxiliary branches of our rooted hearts kept intact. I’m only building on pride if I carry on without the foundation of Christ. I know even as I type this my own actions convict me. I’m terrible at sitting with God nowadays. The impeding due dates hover above my head like rainclouds and time with Christ somehow gets written of as a “bad expenditure”. Not at all true. But I believe it.
Are you sure you were prepared for this much honesty in one blog post?
I’m tired of being a busy person with a deteriorating soul.
All these other things I’m experiencing: outpourings of volcanic emotion at inappropriate times, sudden and random attacks of loneliness, paranoid insecurities that number in the thousands: these are all symptomatic of my unresolved soul problems.
It’s one thing to believe in Jesus. Even to pray daily. It’s another to want him like you want the only food in your dorm. Like you want so badly to feel at home with someone else.
Yours and mine, our deepest ache:
So when you see me walking at a furious pace around the lake, dressed in all black, with headphones in and sunglasses covering my eyes, know that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I’m as terrified as you. I’m just one blow away from caving in.
The good news is, there’s a remedy for our busy spirits. We’re just one Martha away from Mary.
Give me Jesus.
Here is my month, in photos: