Personal Reflection: Being Christian… at my work & school

 

BEING CHRISTIAN… AT MY WORK & SCHOOL
Olivia Cahill, Youth Parishioner

Children walk hand in hand down the long red carpet. The pitter patter of their feet is overshadowed by the joyful lyrics of “Seek Ye First” that escape from their mouths. Gentle reminders from wise teachers keep the little ones quiet when the piano stops playing, and Father Gerard begins the service.

This is the scene of my daily chapel that began in first grade. Chapel for me today as a twelfth grader looks a little different, but routine nonetheless. I have attended an Episcopal school all of my life. Blessed with the support and guidance of school chaplains from day one, I had an early idea of what it meant to be Christian at school. Though today, religion in my school life is more than just happy hymns and children’s chapel, but rather a guide through the many ups and downs the school day brings.

My mom often calls the day-in day-out routine of the school week “the grind.” Late nights of homework, waking up early, and trying to fit in time for family and friends can take a toll. But I have to remain thankful for this “grind.” Waking up grateful every morning that God has given me the opportunity to learn and do good in His world gives me the strength to give my all at school each day.

Christ also helps me to avoid what I think of as the “paths of least resistance.” Temptation flies around me in my work and social life at school all day. But He teaches me to be honest on all of my assignments and in all of my test taking. Doing my own work and not copying from others is a way I am consistently honest in my daily life and reflects the way I am honest with God.

Though I go to a Christian school, most of the people around me don’t incorporate God into their lives. They often make decisions or treat people in ways that do not reflect God’s love for them. Though I fail each and every day, I try to reflect God’s kindness in my actions whether that be respecting my teachers, reaching out to someone new, or just quietly reminding myself of God’s plan for me.

My biggest struggle at school is trusting God through the unknown. We all know the stress of wanting to achieve great grades and balance a social life. School and life in general can lead us to situations where we become unsure of the future. In the past I found myself turning away from God when I didn’t know what was in front of me. I was great at thanking God for what I had, but when I was lost sometimes I did not always seek him. Through the college admissions process, I learned to trust God even in the hard times. When I received disappointing news from my top-choice school, instead of feeling like my dreams were crushed, I turned to God. I knew he would guide me to the right school. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him” (Jeremiah 17:7).

While daily chapel may not be a part of my life as I graduate high school and go to college, I know being Christian will be a guiding force for me as my education continues. I know I can turn to Him in times of joy and sorrow, and with Him I can make it through anything.

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