By Brother Jared Scolaro
I came home from school on Friday with a truck load of homework to do by Monday. Normally, this would be manageable, but this weekend was different. There was a church camping/outreach event in Yucaipa, California that I wanted to attend.
If I went, I would be leaving Friday afternoon and returning Sunday evening with two assignments due the next day. Oh yeah, and I had to use a computer to do both of them so I couldn’t do them camping, and I also had to prepare for an in-class discussion on Monday in which I would have to analyze a quote from a book and comment on other people’s quotes. Literature isn’t my strength, so I really have to prepare to do well in these discussions.
Do I go to the church event and get a huge blessing but also be fairly unprepared for Monday, or should I do my homework and not be stressed for Monday but miss out on church? I didn’t have much time to decide, but a scripture came to mind:
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?… for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:31-33).
I decided not to worry about how my homework would get done and do what God wanted me to do. With the few hours I had between getting home from school and leaving for the trip, I worked on my homework. When it came time to leave, I hadn’t even finished the first assignment, but I said a prayer and stopped worrying.
The weekend was filled with blessings, meeting new people, reaching out to the community, and close encounters with earwigs (which is another story). When the trip was over, I was very grateful that I went.
Fast-forward to Sunday night. I got home from the trip at 7:30 p.m. By 10:30, I finished my first assignment. Exhausted from camping, I had to go to bed, even though I still had work to do.
The next morning, I prayed about my assignments. I remembered God’s promise in Matthew, but I was still a bit nervous. My first class is physics, and instead of Newtonian mechanics, the teacher decided that we were going to learn how to play bridge. What?! “Since when do we learn card games in physics?” I wondered. I didn’t have any complaints as it gave me plenty of time to finish my second assignment. Now all I had to do was prepare for the in-class discussion.
English rolled around and I hadn’t found any time to prepare. In my mind, I started making up excuses for why God wouldn’t keep His promise (oh, me of little faith). The discussion started, and 30 minutes later, I hadn’t contributed anything (the teacher keeps track of who speaks and who doesn’t).
Suddenly, a really old guy I’ve never seen walked into the room out of nowhere. The teacher saw him and screamed excitedly. I don’t know who this guy was, but the teacher said he was way more important than our discussion, so she told us to work in groups and write down quotes and analysis, which would count as participation in the discussion, while she talked to this random guy in the hall. I got in a group with one of my friends, and together we were able to more than meet the requirements. We’ve had dozens of in-class discussions, and this has never happened before. My English teacher is one of my most strict teachers, so I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when I needed it most, the entire structure of the class changed for a day in my favor. I have to thank God for this.
So, that’s how I learned that when you put God first, he really does take care of your other needs. Obviously, you can’t just put in zero effort and expect God to just do everything for you, but if you put God first and do your best, you can count on God to do the rest.
Summer Reading Challenge Starts Tomorrow!
If you’re participating in the Summer Reading Challenge, here is the reading schedule for the first two days:
Saturday, June 1, Gen 1:1-14:13
Sunday, June 2, Gen 14:14-26:22