Lately, I’ve made it a regular (bad) habit of missing the first class of the day. The first time this happened was the week of our lab midterms when I was feeling swamped with studying for lab tests the week following our first block of lecture exams. I would skip an otherwise negligible class to study for my exam. However, after our second block of lecture exams, about 3 weeks ago, I started missing more regularly, Those classes are optics and vision science. At first, I started missing because I wouldn’t wake to my alarm, but I slowly started to justify the slow start mornings – i.e. taking my time even if I wake up 15 minutes late – and setting my alarm later and later (from 7:00am to 7:45am). Some of the rationalization I would use would be, “Eh, I can catch up on class material” or “I’m doing so well in optics; why do I need to go to class?” There was even one day last week where I missed the entire day of class simply because I didn’t want to show up late.
I’ve been pretty lazy lately. Unmotivated and complacent, I have allowed this habit to encompass and my regular everyday schedule. But I realize there is a lot of incongruent logic involved as well. Some examples are
“I can study better if I am more awake.”
“No point in going to class because the professor just reads from his notes.”
“I just go to class and read espn news all the time.”
“If I don’t go to class, I’ll get more studying done on my own.”
or my personal favorite:
“My friends will judge me if I show up late for optics/VS, so I should just show up after that class is over and claim that I intentionally showed up late because of (one of the reasons above). That way they’ll still see that I’m a capable student who doesn’t fall behind, but is motivated and aware of his situation.”
This morning, one of my friends asked me if I’ve just been staying up late, and I said yes. He pointed out that perhaps because we were testing and studying for over a month, I’m just relaxing and recovering from that whole month of crunch time. He might be right, but I think my bad habits are rooted in my chronic laziness. I’ve struggled with my sluggish nature all through undergrad oftentimes procrastinating on homework assignments due in a week and cramming for exams until the last minute. During test week, I showed diligence, and I was quite proud about my devotion. But since then, I’ve been an abysmal example of what it means to honor God with my academics and with my life.
If all my work was to be measured by the fruits of my life, I would never be made righteous in God’s eyes. I can’t possibly do enough work or achieve enough in life to earn favor in God’s eyes: “…it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). My work is an indication of whether my life is transformed, but it is not a measure of my righteousness. God sees our faith and devotion, but more importantly He sees his son standing up for me on my behalf. God judged Jesus’ righteousness, which was perfect, and deemed me worthy to be saved. As a result, I am to be transformed by this act of Grace, since God decided to send Jesus to die for me. This transformation should compel me to a life of diligence and devotion because of the love of Christ that I have experience.
At least, it should. It’s really hard to remain motivated. It’s really hard to prioritize God, relationships, and mission in the first place. I want to, but it’s hard. I don’t really have any solutions to my situation, but I’m starting by openly acknowledging that I am struggling with a sin of laziness. I have not been leaning on the cross or working diligently. I need Jesus.
God I ask that you would come into my life and transform it. I have been having trouble sleeping early, waking up on time, honoring my quiet times, and being intentional with relationships. When the day starts sour, the rest of the day becomes a sinkhole for more incongruent logic and rationalization to continue being lazy. God I want to stop this bad habit, but wanting it just to make life function more fully isn’t worthwhile. I want to work for your Kingdom, not for your grace. I know I have received your grace and I am forever thankful. I know I have a permanent place in Heaven with you and I’m excited. But for now, you have placed me here on earth to be a witness to my classmates and my friends. Help me to devote myself to my studies and to my daily devotions. God I want to live for more, but this life I’m living is but a shell of what you have in store for me, what you want for me. I need you Jesus. Amen