Finding Meaning in the Misery of Finals Period
It’s the worst time of year again: finals period. The misery of sitting in front of a laptop from 6 in the morning until midnight everyday, typing papers and reading lecture notes, is unspeakable. Finals period always makes me feel miserable, brain-dead, and (most of all) completely inadequate.
But yet, in this most miserable time of year, I find meaning and hope and am reminded of the amazing ways God has blessed me. In the feelings of inadequacy that inevitably infect my mind when I have fifteen pages to write before 5 p.m. tomorrow, I somehow find gratitude. It is precisely because I am so pathetically inadequate–which becomes painfully clear this time of year–that the miracle of God’s grace is so incredible.
In this finals period, I have found particular meaning and hope in the Leeland song you’ll find below “Carried to the Table”. As the song so beautifully expresses, through the miracle of God’s grace and despite my inadequacy, I’ve been carried to the table of the Lord and seated where I do not belong. “Even in my weakness”–which becomes so heartrendingly apparent to me during finals period–”the Savior called my name.”
One thing I’ve realized over the past couple years at Yale is that the secular elite consider the good things that happen in life to be the result of nothing more than luck. In a sense, they do understand the truth: We are certainly all inadequate and undeserving of the things we’re given in this life.
However, they’re missing the most important part. Luck is some impersonal force; good things that come from luck make a person feel guilty and undeserving. Luck leaves you as no more than some sort of cosmic-lottery winner.
The reality is that the good things in our life are not the result of luck but rather they are blessings sent to us from God. Such blessings make an individual feel gratitude and a sense of purpose. There is a responsibility and sense of meaning that comes with viewing the good things in life as blessings. The miracle of God’s grace is that He works through our inadequacy, He heals our brokenness, and He speaks through our pain. The fact that God gives us blessings we do not deserve ought not make us guilty; it ought to make us incredibly grateful.
Even in the worst of days at Yale–days filled with work, with feelings of inadequacy, with unhappiness–I am consumed by an overwhelming gratitude. God truly has blessed me more than I could have ever asked for or imagined.
Despite my inadequacy, despite my repeatedly failing Him, He has summoned me into His courts and carried me to the table of the Lord. Seated there at His table, where I do not belong, I no longer see my brokenness, only my gratitude to Him for all the blessings He has given me.