March 21, 2023

The coronavirus recently hit its sixth month in California. With no clear end in sight, students at California Baptist University are understandably feeling the emotional and mental exhaustion more than ever.

Being at a Christian university, it is important for students to focus on being spiritually grounded, turning to God in their times of need and uncertainty.

Brian Zunigha, director of Discipleship Ministries, said surrounding yourself in community and being focused and intentional in worship is important.

“Reaching out to friends and keeping that community has to be more intentional now,” Zunigha said. “Reading the Bible, praying to Christ all of it has to be more intentional to stay focused on what matters during these times.”

Although many churches are beginning to host services in person again, such as Magnolia Church located across the street from CBU, students still have to weigh the risk of attending church.

Chloe Cox, sophomore architecture major, said because everything looks so different now, it is on the students to be more proactive with their community.

“I’ve been reaching out to my close friends and growing in community with them, reading the Bible and praying,” Cox said. “Staying connected is really important so you can feel close to them even with being more spread out and separated. Even if they are not reaching out to you, show that you care and want to build community with them.”

Cox added that remembering God is in control and all-powerful is what brings her comfort in times of distress.

For Mike Lovato, the executive pastor of discipleship at Magnolia Church, his day starts with a quiet time with God.

“What I have found almost every day is that my mind is spinning as soon as I wake up,” Lovato said. “There is so much that goes on every day, so many bad things on the news. It can hurt you. So I try to quiet my mind and my own personal voice and focus on God’s.”

Lovato said he has a wife and two daughters on top of his full-time job, so he understands how chaotic life can be. Spending even 15-20 minutes a day in serious conversation with the Lord, recognizing God’s control can really make a difference.

Lovato also recommends students add structure to their lives to eliminate unneeded stress that distracts them from a relationship with God.

“Working from home gives me more flexibility. I can take longer lunches and see my family,” Lovato said. “Taking a rest in the middle of the day helps me stay more spiritually grounded because I’m not trying to pressure myself into the mentality to only work. You get to say ‘If I take a break it’s okay.’”

Students who are unsure of where to find solace in the Bible should read the book of James, which describes patience and faith in the Lord during times of trials and temptations.

A more specific verse in the Bible is Psalm 46:10, which says, “Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Spiritual Life office is open for students who want to talk to someone in-person. Students can join a Tribe, which are Bible study groups run by Spiritual Life interns. 

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