I sighed heavily as I climbed the stairs to my college dorm room. This was only the beginning of the year, and already I was overwhelmed with my study load.
Lying on my bed in my room, I wondered if I could do anything to reduce the stress. Lately, with all the pressure, my morning worship routine had collapsed, and I realized that I had been a poor steward of my time.
In my mind I prayed for a way of managing my time better while putting God first. Immediately I was impressed that there is more to putting God first than reading the Bible and praying in the mornings. Though it certainly wasn’t a new idea, it occurred to me that putting Him first also meant being a good steward of the health God had given me. This would require an exercise program; eating regular, well-balanced meals; and getting enough sleep at night.
In the long run, it really wouldn’t matter what grade I got for a research and statistics test, but it would make a difference what condition my body—the Lord’s temple—was in when I left college.
In my dorm room that day I began formulating a plan of action. It would be an experiment, really, and I was both nervous and excited about its potential results.
Besides resuming worship first thing in the day, I would take time for balanced meals and make sure I got some form of exercise, outside if possible, before studying faithfully in the evening. Bedtime would come firmly at 9:30 p.m.
Over the next few weeks I was pleasantly surprised by the results of my experimental schedule. I felt better, slept better, worried less, and my grades improved.
Of course I was always greatly tempted to cheat a little on my schedule. On cold days it took a lot of willpower for me to push myself outside to exercise. And many nights as 9:30 approached I was strongly tempted to stay up later to finish a paper or cram for an early-morning test.
But I would go to my window, look out at the night sky, and renew my decision to put God and His principles first. I reminded myself that He loved me and didn’t want me to do poorly in school any more than I did. Then I’d crawl into bed and sleep soundly.
And I was never disappointed. In many cases a test would be postponed or changed to “open-book.” A teacher might be gone, and the canceled class would give me a free period to complete a paper. Or assignments would simply take much less time and effort than I first expected.
The results of my college experiment made a deep impression on me. I felt very special that God would do so much for me. I still do my best to follow the same principles today in managing my time and health. And I haven’t been disappointed yet.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
By Laura Krum
Do you have a stewardship story? Tell it to us: Share Your Stewardship Story » NAD Stewardship