1:24 PM

o•a•sis /ōˈāsis/
Noun: A pleasant or peaceful area or period in the midst of a difficult, troubled, or hectic place or situation.

As some of you probably know, I am down to my last semester as a college undergraduate. I only have one subject to complete, and that is my thesis in communication. You are probably thinking that I am living an easy life unbothered by time constraints. However, that is all one big misconception.

Other than being a "transitioning" college student, I am a teacher (to be more precise, a workshop facilitator), a daughter, and a disciple-maker. When God blessed me with a part-time teaching job last July, I scheduled my days carefully. Here's a view of what I am doing in a week:

On Mondays, I teach basic journalism for interested elementary students. In the afternoon, I tutor English and Filipino to a home-schooled child.

From Tuesdays to Fridays, I do my thesis at home.

Saturdays are what I call my "free" days. Being free in this context doesn't really mean I could relax or get away for a while. I only used the word "free" to describe my Saturdays, because I want to allow flexibility in my schedule. This means I could choose to do my thesis, go out with my family or friends, or take some time off in front of the computer.

Lastly, Sundays are exclusively for church worship and ministry. As much as possible, I try not to think of my work or my thesis every Sunday. There are people who need me, and I need them as well. So I make sure that I give them my full attention for the whole Sunday.

Honestly, I thought things would go easy for me if I follow this schedule that I set. I am also daughter and the eldest one in fact. As a love language to my parents, I do some of the chores in the house. I always wash the dishes, and sometimes - especially when my mom comes home late - I cook dinner. Our family loves to talk, especially over dinner. Believe it or not, it takes approximately two hours for us to get up from the dining table. We talk, we laugh, talk some more, laugh some more.

So imagine how much time is consumed in a day. As a teacher, I also spend time to study and prepare the materials for my students. Although there are times, I am exhausted physically, I am actually more exhausted mentally and emotionally.

The pressure to finish my thesis and to graduate this October is mounting. With almost a month a left, I feel excited, nervous and pressured all at the same time. And I think those emotions manifested last week when I could no longer understand what I was reading nor think of an appropriate paraphrase to put into my research. My Facebook statuses were filled with expressions of exasperation like "I could feel my brain cells evaporating". I was tired... really really tired.

As easy for others to say that I should rest, I couldn't. I was traumatized of my experience before and it was affecting me. I was consumed by the idea of working and working and working until I could be satisfied. There is a deadline that I needed to meet and I was pressuring myself to meet that.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went of to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)

Although this verse gives us a picture of the prayerful attitude of Jesus Christ, it struck me differently. Jesus rose up "very early in the morning" to pray. It was still dark and everyone, even His disciples, were still asleep. Jesus, as wonderful as He already is, sacrificed His time for sleeping to pray. He was already a busy man at that time, so I'm pretty sure He needed all the time that he could get just to recharge before doing going to another town. However, He made time to talk to God. He went out to flee from things that could probably distract Him. He MADE TIME.

In order to compensate lost time, I sacrifice my time to talk to God and for Him to talk to me. As embarrassing as it is to admit, it's becoming often that I do that. I was guilty when I read the passage above. I was thinking, "What excuse am I giving not to spend time with God when Jesus was also busy?"

So for the past two days, I did not open a single window of anything work-related or thesis-related. I spent two full days of being replenished by God's Word and by the company of God's amazing people. It felt like finding an oasis in the middle of the desert, as my friend calls it. It feels refreshing... absolutely refreshing.

I guess God intentionally made me feel tired because I had become self-absorbed of both my work and my thesis. I was in that desert, parched and dried up, yet I still did not try to look for an oasis. But God took away the very thing I was holding unto - my intellect - to humble myself and focus on Him alone.

So if Jesus Christ was already a "busy man", who are we not to spend time talking to God and listening to His voice?


  1. Exactly how I'm feeling the past days/weeks... I'm so consumed by a lot of activities that I sometimes forget to pause for a while and just talk or if not.. just listen to Him. Even until now I'm still struggling a bit.. I guess it's indeed a reminder for us to put God first no matter how busy we are. :)

  2. And I think God's blessings will overflow if take time to pause and focus on Him. :)