“I have eleven meetings per week.”
Usually masked as complaint or self-pity, I said that often during my third year of college as a way to seek praise from others. I can’t say enough wonderful things about my UVA experience and the opportunities I had to be involved. However, I wasn’t immune to the temptation to define myself by leadership positions, organizations that would take up space on a resume, and countless meetings. Although I frantically desired rest, I still craved to have an acceptable answer to the question, “how’s your semester going?” I took pride in having those meetings. And I wanted to talk about my busyness to whoever would listen.
This past Sunday at Trinity, Robert Cunningham gave a sermon about entering God’s rest. He explained that our culture is shackled by that very tendency to view busyness as a virtue. We think that perhaps we only matter when our schedules are full, and that life becomes more meaningful the busier it gets. Oddly familiar…
Several former fellows and Trinity leaders prepared us for our busy schedules during orientation for the Trinity Fellows Program. We were warned of the temptation to complain about our time. We would fail if we tried to have a separate schedule outside of Fellows. We would likely become overwhelmed at some point. It sounded like we would be getting ourselves into a 9-month-long busy schedule. To some extent, we have--but something about this “busyness” is markedly different.
In thinking about my Fellows experience thus far, I feel rested. Sustained. Emboldened, even. Robert explained that we enter God’s rest by recognizing that we are finite and by celebrating God’s provision. During the past six weeks I have been reminded that I am not self-sufficient in my productivity, as God is ripping away the part of my identity that rests in staying busy. (Partly because I’m surrounded by 15 other fellows with the exact same schedule as me). The posture of gratitude so evident in these fellows, my host family, and this congregation as a whole has affected me, and I have begun learning to find rest in the midst of busy circumstances in a culture that struggles to be still.
In God’s wrath we were forbidden from entering into His rest, but we are reminded in Hebrews 4 that “we have a great high priest” who graciously allows us to enter into that rest again. In light of that, may we resist the temptation to find worth in our schedules. May we understand our identity as God’s image bearers and continue to pursue a posture of gratitude. May we celebrate God’s provision together. And may we – by grace through faith – “strive to enter that rest”, knowing that the work of the resurrection is finished.
While at UVA, Margaret was president of Kappa Kappa Gamma, an executive member of her class council, and a member of the leadership team for Greek Intervarsity. She led an initiative to launch multiple chapter ministries in the Inter-Sorority Council through Greek Intervarsity at UVA. As an intern for Southeastern Mills, a food company and the largest independent flour-milling company in the country,
Margaret worked with the sales and marketing teams to export and analyze consumer market data in Nielsen’s database in 2014. She assisted the accounting department at Southeastern Mills this past summer by creating national and international reports for their recently acquired retail brand, Louisiana Hot Sauce. Margaret hopes to combine her economics background, experience with market research, and passion for writing in the business world.