I recently saw the following headline and article tagged in a social media post: “Cincinnati church wipes out $46.5 million in medical debt for 45,000 families.” Perhaps more interesting to me was the accompanying post, which was simply “We could do this. But would we?”
Think about it. What should we be doing? And why aren’t we doing it?
This has implications in our personal lives and for the Church as a whole. Sure, it would be easy to simply ask the question, “Why doesn’t my church do something like this?” or “Why are we spending large amounts of money on impressive churches or impressive icons or impressive liturgical items?” And those are questions that our leaders must be willing to ask and answer. But for us, something else is at the heart of the matter.
Take a moment and think about the past day, week, even year. How much time, energy, and talent was spent with an inward focus looking for or achieving an inward result? Would I summarize my actions, what I actually do, as primarily self-fulfilling or self-emptying? And, if I call myself a Christian, are my actions aligned with what Christ taught and did?
I don’t know the specifics about this Cincinnati church and what they were able to do. It’s not for me to analyze or judge. I do know that there are people in need. Financial need, emotional need, medical need, hunger, alone, unloved, uncared for, and the list goes on. What strikes me is that I spend most of my time and days ensuring that the needs above are taken care of for myself. How much time will I spend ensuring that they’re taken care of for others?
How shall I live?
Dn. Marek Simon
Dn. Marek is the Executive Director of Orthodox Christian Fellowship. He is passionate about serving and mentoring young people, helping them explore their faith, and growing the ministry of OCF so that all college students have the opportunity to participate. Dn. Marek lives in the Nashville area with his wife and two children.
Being a college student is not an easy feat: It’s a balancing act on a tightrope. You have to balance classes, friends, family, extracurriculars, and church into a minuscule 24 hours. But, this is your time you get to balance it all on your own and you owe it to yourself to do a great job.
You have the ‘nutrients’ and ‘soil’ you need from home, which allowed you to start growing, now that you are in a new ‘pot’ you can more fully grow into who you are as a person.
Let’s continue with a few more common problems freshman students face, and some advice as to how to overcome them. These problems are attributed to mycollegeguide.org.
Problem #3 Financial Issues
College is expensive. Financial issues can be difficult to navigate. Finances are a huge factor when making decisions and choosing where you go to school. It can get stressful but it is something you can work through and overcome to get the education that you want.
Get help if you need it. All schools have a financial aid office, and they are experts in answering any and all of your questions.
Talk to someone. Talk to your parents if you need to help solve something out. The stress associated with financial problems can be really difficult.
Be thankful. Practice gratitude for the things you have. Don’t forget to thank God every day for the blessings you receive! This advice will help change your outlook on life if practiced consistently.
Get a job! Most schools have work-study programs, and a lot of college towns have jobs for students. Just make sure to balance it properly as to not let your grades suffer as a result.
Problem #4 Problems With Choosing Your Major
Choosing your major is a big decision that can help set your path in life. Some people are born knowing what they want to study while for others its a gradual revelation. Your major is a decision that you should take your time with and be sure about, but know that your job and your life after college won’t be limited by the classes you take in college.
Don’t be afraid to explore. Most majors, unless you are in a specific track, have a lot of flexibility that allows you to take classes that you are interested in different.
Think ahead, if you know there is a specific major you want to get into, speak to advisors and take classes related to it so that you don’t have to lose time studying something you don’t want to.
Ask for help. Many saints are patrons of education and in their divine wisdom, they can offer prayers to help you with your decision. Pray to saints like St. Katherine or the Three Hierarchs: St. Basil the Great, St. John Chrysostom and St. Gregory the Theologian. They will help if you ask for it!
Challenges are opportunities for growth! Take stress, channel it and use it to grow. College is a time to learn about yourself and mold yourself into the person you want to become.