Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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If the time is soon, why am I wasting my time studying instead of serving God and spending more time with Him instead of being busy with the things of the world, learning, knowledge, and getting a job? Will God judge everyone according to the time that he had and to his.abilities?

I feel that I am falling short of many things, yet I know that I am supposed to do my best to improve, yet the busy school environment is taking most of my time and I barely spend time with God. I feel that I am the one who chooses to make it busy by choosing university to get a good career; but this busy life, which is taking me away from God, how will it help me when Jesus comes? He will probably say, "What benefit is it that you won a and a good career and lost the chance of spending good time with me and my Word? How about the poor that you didn't serve but rather you were busy studying to acquire your degree and get a great career?"

It is frustrating to be doing something that is not of interest and seemingly unimportant when it compares to a life of contemplation or service. These life experiences and opportunities for knowledge, albeit in secular matters, can still be useful in spiritual matters. H. H. Pope Shenouda III was a teacher before he entered the monastic order. Have you read the biographies of the brothers Sts. Cosman and Damian? Did you know that St. Katherine studied philosophy and St. Verena was a nurse? Sts. James, John, and Peter were fishermen and St. Paul was a tent-maker and so were the husband and wife team of the servants, Aquila and Priscilla. Tabitha (Dorcas) used to sew clothing for the widows and the poor. How could these faithful servants provide for themselves if they did not labor for their own provisions? It is through guided spiritual direction that you ought to channel your energy in doing both. Christ did not perform the miracle of the loaves and fish every time He or His disciples hungered. They also worked. Christ Himself was a carpenter, a skill He humbly accepted through the teaching of the blessed St. Joseph. Therefore, striving to gain knowledge and sharing it with others is not only a great blessing, but it is a prayer in itself. Do not allow the devil to lead you to wallow in self-pity or pride by letting you think that your education is a waste of time. Your ambitions do not have to be associated with monetary gain or honor, but rather a means to praise God and serve Him.

"As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10).

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