Throughout high school and during my time here at Baylor, I have been described as a couple of things. One word seems to be repetitive: organized. Well, it’s pretty accurate. I’ve always loved keeping a planner glued to my side and I bring along every single school supply you could think of to every class.
I like to stick to schedules because I like to know what’s coming, but when things don’t go as planned or when an event suddenly jumps in front of me, my body reacts to it. I start sweating, my heart rate goes up, and I sometimes start to panic. That same feeling happened a few weeks ago when I found out my great aunt was in the hospital, and it didn’t look good.
She passed away while I was home for spring break, and while I was disappointed that I didn’t get to do much of anything during my time off, it taught me a few lessons about how life works.
First, we cannot always expect how life is going to go. The cliche phrase “expect the unexpected” is true. Things are not going to go right. You won’t get your way all the time, and you’re going to get the short end of the stick at some point. There was no possible way of predicting how I would be spending spring break, so what was I supposed to do?
It’s quite simple: Be a mature adult about the situation and deal with it. Some people may get upset and let their emotions get the best of them, but that’s not what needs to happen. If you let your emotions make decisions for you, it’s doesn’t always end well.
I had to look at the situation and make the best of things whenever it wasn’t good. There’s room to grow after that. People can develop or even discover new personality traits if they handle the unexpected event in a mature fashion.
Second, a break of routine is sometimes needed in the midst of a crazy schedule. There have been numerous times where I had something planned such as work on homework or go to a sporting event for work.
Sometimes I decided to switch it up and did something different such as playing tennis, going outside and sitting on Fountain Mall or watching “Friday Night Lights” on Netflix.
To some people, this is called procrastination. However, when it’s done in moderation and is needed during a stressful week, I call it a necessity.
Slow life down. We get caught up in getting things done and going places that we often let the days pass by too quickly. Before we know it, years get away from us and we’re middle-aged people with a spouse and teenage kids.
Finally, we can’t spend time worrying about what’s to come. While many of my family members were walking around the hospital worrying about what the next few days were going to hold, I didn’t do that. In the end, it’s not in our hands. It’s ultimately up to God.
My great aunt was also my godmother. She brought me into the Catholic Church, stood before God and said that I would be raised to be a loyal and faithful servant of Christ. That same faith that I was given the day I was anointed with water over my head ended up helping me get through the past week.
Matthew 6:31-34 states, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
That Bible verse has helped me keep perspective of what life is all about. Things will go wrong, but it’s a way of life. It’s an opportunity to learn about yourself and take a step back from the usual busy lives that we all have.
Even though I may have not been on a beach somewhere or done the typical spring break activities last week, the week did not go unappreciated. I was surrounded by my family during a difficult time and learned a lot about my faith and life itself.
The love I felt with my family was very comforting, and I know there’s no doubt that my aunt’s death was a part of God’s plan for me. Eternal life with Christ is the ultimate prize after leaving this earth, so how can I not smile thinking about that?
It wasn’t planned or on my schedule, but sometimes the best things aren’t.
Cody Soto is a sophomore journalism major from Poth. He is a sports writer and regular columnist for the Lariat.