Christmas break has officially started. With the stress of cramming for finals and pulling all-nighters behind you, it can be easy to spend your Christmas break catching up on all the sleep you lost during finals week or lounging on the couch watching brainless TV.
When I was in college, that’s usually how I spent my breaks, and they became a time where I typically struggled with growing in my faith. I was out of my routine of getting up at the same time every morning, eating breakfast and spending time in the Word. When I was home for breaks, I would sleep in late, lounge around the house, and would have almost no motivation to do anything, including spending time with God. Unfortunately, I had a mentality of, “I’m just going to relax and take it easy, I’ll get back to that when I get back to school.” I didn’t see the value of having a break from school and using that break wisely in order to grow in my faith. Now I regret it, so my challenge to you is to do the opposite. Use your month off of school wisely, instead of wasting it away.
Don’t take a break from friends.
This is a given. We need community, and that need is still there during breaks. Don’t spend your breaks isolated from friends. Continue to strengthen the relationships you have at school, whether that’s spending some quality time with friends back home, or chatting with out of town friends on the phone.
Spend the break studying something specific.
During the semester it can be hard to devote uninterrupted time to really studying something apart from school, but during break you have more time. Whether this is going through a devotional, or picking a book of the Bible to go through over break, use your break from school as a chance to really dive into God’s word and spend intentional time seeking Him.
Pick a good book.
I love to read, but I never had time to read as many personal books as I would have liked when I was in school. Pick a good book, or two, to cross of your reading list. Maybe even pair a personal, more fun book, with a book that will challenge you and help you to grow in your faith. Personally, one of the reasons I love reading Christian books by pastors such as John Piper and Tim Keller is because they’re smarter than me, so they can explain things I have a hard time grasping in a comprehendible way, thereby challenging me and helping me to grow in my understanding of who God is.
In short, God cares about how you spend your breaks from school. Yes it is a time for you to rest from the previous semester and feel rejuvenated for the next semester, but don’t just rest physically. Jesus calls all of us to him when we’re tired and worn out from the stress of finals and school. Don’t take a break from him over the next month, but draw near to Christ and find true rest for your soul.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:28-29