Monday, November 1, 2010

Questions and Answers

"Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."~Rainer Maria Rilke

So. Despite my best intentions, I didn't pen a line of a blog post in the past three months, because, (drumroll) I've begun my freshman year at university!! Transitioning from high school to college has been a highly rewarding, exponentially beautiful, and occasionally distressing journey. Thus, my days(and nights) have been consumed with study and homework (and Sporcle. And talking. And procrastinating. *guilty face*) College may be an overused, unsatisfactory excuse to neglect writing here for so long, but it conveniently segues into my topic.

I think one of the greatest sources of stress and soul-searching these past months has been the desire to live life to the fullest. Let me explain. Frosh-O weekend, (that's freshman orientation weekend in Notre Dame lingo), we were constantly encouraged to find our full potential and to take advantage of every opportunity. However, at the time, I was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of possibilities and opportunities that had been opened up to me. I was afraid that I would miss wonderful opportunities, and I guess I assumed that meant that dire consequences would ensue. It seems like a silly fear now that I realize I have four years here to take advantage of every marvelous opportunity, but at the time, it was stressing me out.

However, that stage passed (hallelujah) but, more questions arise. What activities should I do? What clubs should I join? What service opportunities should I participate in? What shows should I do? What shows shouldn't I do? What classes should I take? Should I get coffee or tea? (answer: coffee) When should I go to Mass? What should I wear today? What should I do with my life? What does God want me to do?

That's a lot of questions. And I didn't have the answers.

Thankfully, God has put two amazing people in my life. One is Mother Teresa, the other is a friend/mentor/director/rolemodel who sent me the above Rainer Maria Rilke quote. That quote made me realize that God doesn't expect me to have all the answers. In fact, He doesn't need me to have all the answers. What He needs is for me to trust Him. If I had all the answers, then I'd never have to trust Him. And what fun would that be? No fun, that's what. Life would be insanely boring if we had all the answers to the million questions that we encounter. We just have to keep asking the questions and God will send us answers.

But what are we to do in the meantime? We can't just pray for answers and then sit back and wait for God to send them. We have to act. Move forward. Live. But what do you do when you don't know what you're supposed to be doing? The answer is simple. Love. Live each day focusing on others. Mother Teresa's writings are a constant inspiration and reminder of that. Her simple yet profound example of love and complete giving of herself is rousing-I feel like dashing off into the Great Unknown and single-handedly change the world. I may not know what I'm supposed to do after I graduate, what my vocation is, or what I should wear to the dance, but I do know that I can offer a prayer for someone I pass by, or hold open the door for someone, or help someone with their laundry, or bake them brownies when they're feeling blue or just smile. These simple acts of love are what life's all about. A life lived in love is a life lived in God. And God's got the answers. He is the answer.

"I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?"
Til We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis

1 comment:

  1. YAY!! I'm so glad you are enjoying college!! Mother Teresa is a great role model indeed...Hope your freshman year continues to be good and fun!