– drained of one’s physical or mental resources; very tired
– (of resources or reserves) completely used up
Senior year has definitely been exhausting. The studying and the college applications have filled up a lot of my time, but that’s not the end of it. I have a job, I have a social life, and I have an endless amount of to-do lists on my desk. This year has been busy. It has been stressful, tiring, and difficult. Just thinking about it is wearing me out.
Recently, I asked God to give me the motivation to live life with a “carpe diem” attitude. Feeling exhausted every day has become part of my routine. I’ve been sleepwalking through my schedule. I needed something to wake me up, something to give me the energy to seize the day.
Judges 8:4 And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing.
This verse is my “carpe diem” verse. Before this, in chapter 7, Gideon and the 300 men had just defeated the Midianites. They were tired. They were probably ready to go home and take a nap, but instead, God was leading them into battle once again. So they crossed over the Jordan, exhausted yet pursuing. Not just sleepwalking, not just going with the flow. Pursuing.
I bet I can guess what you’re thinking. What do we get out of this? Why would anyone want to pursue God if it’s going to wear us out? It doesn’t sound great, I know. It isn’t easy, but I promise it’s worth it.
In case you didn’t know, carpe diem is a Latin aphorism, usually translated “seize the day.” It is used to encourage someone to make the most of the present day. This phrase didn’t mean anything to me until I watched Dead Poets Society for the first time. In the movie, Robin Williams plays John Keating, an English teacher whose main goal is to inspire his students to seize the day and follow their dreams. One of the most well-known quotes from this movie helps me answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”.
“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”
So here is my answer for your question. When you follow God, when you pursue him with all of the energy inside of you, your life will never be ordinary. Following God will lead you into the most extraordinary experiences you could ever imagine. Gideon and the 300 men were led into battle multiple times and were victorious. They saw miracles happen. If we allow God to lead us into our own battles, we will see miracles happen too. If I allow God to help me get through my college packing list, I will see miracles happen.
No matter how big, no matter how small. Give your stress to God. Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you from pursuing Him. Ask Him to fill you with energy and strength to face your day, and He will. If you’re not awake yet, don’t worry! He’s going to be there to carry you through your difficult days. You are not alone. He is walking with you!
words and photo by Lucy Boyland