Today’s guest blogger is Nick Luken, a second-year student at The Ohio State University, majoring in English and minoring in professional writing. Nick graduated from Roger Bacon, a Franciscan high school in Cincinnati, in 2012.
Coming home from college is almost as weird a transition as leaving for college from home. What’s taken even more getting used to is the massive change in my schedule. I don’t have to worry about going to class, taking exams, or writing papers anymore. I don’t even have to worry about summer reading like I did in high school. And I haven’t found a summer job quite yet, so the few weeks that I’ve spent at home, I’ve had almost no obligations at all. And while that probably sounds great to a lot of people, it’s been kind of a struggle for me.
They’ve always said that idle hands make the devil’s work, and I’ve seen the truth of that statement firsthand these past couple weeks, especially with regard to my prayer life. Many people find it hard to pray because they feel they’re too busy. I myself have felt that way many times in my life. These past few weeks, I’ve been just as tempted to shirk my prayer time as I was while still at school. And what’s more, on some days, I’ve felt just as anxious and even as agitated as I felt on some of my busiest days at school.
These weeks of nearly complete idleness have taught me an important lesson. When it comes to anxiety, how busy we are makes no difference. Prayer makes the difference. I think this lesson is embodied in a quote attributed to St. Francis de Sales:
“Every one of us needs half an hour of prayer each day, except when we are busy– then we need an hour.”
Most of the time, I don’t think anxiety comes from having too much to do. I think it comes from not doing what we were meant to do– growing closer to God. No matter how much or how little we have to do, prayer gets us in tune with what we were created for. If we really try to connect with God through prayer in our daily lives, God will put our restless hearts at rest, no matter what our circumstances may be.