Growing Capacity
Student Stories

Growing Capacity

Koehn Manthei

June 28, 2024

Last month, I wrote about how I worked through the challenge of having so few hours at both my jobs, and all the stress that came with that. This month, I feel like I’m experiencing the opposite circumstances. We had a couple of people quit at the Collective recently, and so in the last month I started working all day shifts on a regular basis, which almost doubled my hours. While this has been a blessing financially, it’s eaten up pretty much all the unused time that I had in my weekly schedule, and therein lies the challenge. I’ve had to learn how to manage my time when I have very little margin. But if I’ve learned anything in the last 18 months, it’s that every single challenge is an opportunity to dig in and grow.

About a week into this crazy new schedule, I took a Sabbath and reflected on the work I'd done the previous week. I was reminded of something that Austin had said pretty early on in the launch semester, probably within the first couple days. We were talking about scheduling, and he said something like, “Your capacity is so much greater than you think.” I remember hearing that and thinking to myself, “Maybe that’s true, but I have no interest in testing that theory.” And so for most of last year, I operated out of only a fraction of what I was capable of. It was a mixture of poor working habits and even poorer resting habits that made me believe that the healthiest lifestyle is one that is ordered in a complete rejection of (and really, a fear of) burn out. And I lived that out with my actions. My roommates knew me as someone who was always sleeping, and I spent an unhealthy amount of time doing what I called “resting.” But in the last month, I was forced to confront a lot of assumptions that I had about my capacity. What I found is that the pace that scared me at first has become what I’ve gotten used to, and in so doing I’ve recognized this challenge as a golden opportunity to manifest the peace of heaven. I can’t overcome anything if there’s nothing to overcome. And since I’ve decided to own this challenge, I’ve discovered a lot of truth in what Austin said about capacity. My schedule hasn’t gotten any less wild, but I've learned to not let it overwhelm me. It’s cliche, I know, but I think there’s a lot of power in just believing that what appears to be too big of a challenge, is, in fact, conquerable.

The revelation really took root when I realized that the power to look chaos in the eyes and remain unphased is just the fruit of a life of abiding in the vine. I was encountered with the challenge of an absolutely full schedule, and I overcame this by seeing it as an opportunity to grow in my capacity.

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