So, the end of the semester is so close! Not much more to go. What’s crazy though is that there is, generally speaking, still a lot to do in this last stretch: exams, projects, papers, end of the semester parties. This last bit of the semester can feel tough and can leave us exhausted.
I really like what Adriana had to say. Yeah, you should do that! But what is it going to look like once all of the craziness of the semester is done for a while? What will happen then? How are you going to relax over break!
When I was in school (makes me sound old, doesn’t it?), I used to crash over break. I would always get sick – I think it was my body’s way of laying me out for a while – and once I was better, I would just kinda… veg. Is that a bad thing? Well, the way I did it kinda was. I’d do nothing and I owned it. By the time break was over and it was time to get back to things, I wasn’t ready. I was sluggish and not rested.
We need to be good at resting. It’s a big deal to God. He genuinely cares about us so much that he commands us to rest.
Look at Genesis 1-2:3. Take special note that God didn’t only rest from what he did, but that our first day here on Earth was us resting with God. Pretty cool, huh? I can imagine Adam and Eve just hanging out with God in the Garden, checking out all of the sweet things God had created.
Take a look at Exodus 20:8-11. Here, we’re both commanded to rest – to set apart a time – and we’re reminded that God set up an example of rest.
Now, if you’re reading all of this so far and thinking, “Man, I really stink at resting. I really don’t do a good job at this…” Please know it is not my intention to make anyone feel bad! Sometimes we get into seasons where things are so busy that our times of rest are a few hours here and there and we have to take what we can get.
My encouragement is to take advantage of this upcoming season of rest. Try to put yourself into a rhythm that can be beneficial for you during your next busy season (though this isn’t the main reason for rest – we’ll get to that in a second). Take a moment and read John 15:1-8. Notice how Jesus says in verse 5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Some translations use the word “abide” instead of “remain.”
There’s something extremely refreshing and valuable about being in the presence of Jesus. It can be a very fruitful thing. Sometimes it can be fruit that will come from the things we do, but often times the fruit that comes from abiding in Jesus is something happening in our souls: we become more like him. We can have a sense of peace that isn’t dependent on the things around us, but on the knowledge of God’s great love.
When you’re on break, whatever that may look like, try to be intentional with it. If you veg, do it for only a little while. Consider how to allow Jesus to refresh your soul.
There are millions of ways to see this happen, but this little blurb might get too long for all that. My recommendation is to do something that you know will help you to recline in the presence of Jesus, intentionally, each week. Recently, I heard a pastor talking about recognizing the presence of Jesus in our lives. He posed a question that I want to encourage you to ask yourself on a weekly basis: When was it in the past week that I most felt the presence of Jesus? Then, ask yourself what was happening at that time and what caused you to feel Jesus’ presence the way you did?
If you’re not quite sure what to do from there, just shoot me an e-mail and we’ll figure something out!
May God’s peace be with you.
~ Steve Englund