Like most of my peers, I came to the Hilltop to create the best foundation for my professional career. Inevitably, the whirlwind of “busyness” and “stress” grabbed me by the tailcoat and threw me around until I grew weary of the constant pressure. As I stare into the sophomore year horizon, I see the foundation of college as one that is grounded in the incredible power of God, not in the quantifiable power of a stacked resume or a lucrative signing bonus.
But what really is this incredible power? Speaking from experience, I’ve learned that emotional stability is one of the most important pillars that compose peace of mind. As human beings, we are naturally prone to the unpredictable whims of our feelings. In many situations, our emotions sway us toward one action or another, and over time, they have the potential to mold our habits and our lives. Emotional stability, from what I’ve seen, is the state of having faith that no matter what happens in the future, you are guaranteed a gift so great that it outweighs everything else. Because you are assured of this gift, you are able to maintain a positive mental attitude regardless of what happens to you, both good and bad.
For me, this emotional stability derives from the knowledge that God is in control of my future and that He will guide me in my actions. How do I know this? As Christian apologist William Lane Craig articulates, “I know that God is right through the self-authenticating experience of the Holy Spirit. I show others that He is right through deductive logic and reasoning.” While the edges of this page prevent me from delving into the latter, Craig appropriately captures the self-knowledge that one possesses in that He will walk with you down any path that you might take. We can also look to St. Augustine, who quipped faith as believing in that which you cannot see, and the reward of this faith is to see that which you believe.
Emotional stability plays a pivotal role in achieving and maintaining peace of mind for everyone. The root of this lies in our faith, which we attain through association with other Christians, prayer, and the reading and application of the Scripture, among other actions. We do not have to wallow in the valley of despair, because we are self-assured that God will help us pull ourselves out of whatever abyss we have fallen into.
Even as I talk about emotional stability, I also encourage you to expand your horizons and sail away from the safety of the harbor. After all, life truly begins where our comfort zone ends. Whether you aim to secure that summer analyst position at Goldman Sachs or are about embark on the mission trip of your life, I believe that emotional stability will play a central role in shaping your experience in whatever endeavor you pursue. My hope is that no matter how you feel or what you've accomplished, you will be grateful for all that God has provided for you. Our accomplishments serve as gifts from Him, our shortcomings as lessons, and our downfalls as invaluable experience.
“Go forth, and set the world on fire.” –St. Ignatius of Loyola