Summer of Rest

Finals week ended and the residence halls emptied as we all made our way to our summer locations.

As children, summer had one purpose: FUN. Summer was a time to go to the pool, travel down to the shore, see family, play basketball in the streets, bribe your mom into letting you watch way more T.V. than normal.

As adults, summer has a different feel. It is typically a time of no school, but we scavenge for jobs and internships, praying enough money will be made to get us through the next year. We may deal with stressful family situations or hard conversations with old friends. Maybe we take summer classes in order to graduate on time. The break that used to be just for fun has slowly morphed into a time of busyness and stress.

Seasons change, and as we grow the things we do will change. It is important to know what it means to grow up and have grown-up responsibilities.

However, it is also good to balance work and rest. Students balance heavy workloads with part-time jobs, leadership roles, and participation in organization, and that can take a toll on a person. Because of this, we need to find time to rest and replenish.

How does one rest in the midst of a full work week? First, know who you are. Are you someone who feels rested after spending time with friends, or someone who needs to withdraw for a while to feel replenished? What are things you do that help you to feel full once more, the things that rejuvenate you? Know these things, and then set time to do them during your week. Be intentional about your rest.

A common misconception is that taking time to do these things is selfish and therefore not holy. But God specifically commanded His people to take time to rest with the commandment of the Sabbath day. He even set a precedent for this Himself by resting on the seventh day of creation. The purpose of rest is threefold. It is a gift for us to enjoy and be replenished. God knows we are limited, and He set a boundary for us for our benefit. Rest also allows us to serve others better. When we are filled up, we can pour out and serve others at a greater capacity than if we are running on fumes. Finally, rest gives us a time to be still, and see God and what He is doing in a way we can’t always see when we are moving or working.

Take time this summer to embrace rest. Seek what it means to be still, embracing the command God has given to us. Be creative! Take a walk or read a book on a bench. Join in on a spontaneous game of volleyball. Have a worship night with friends and catch lightning bugs. Laugh until your abs ache. Lay out on a beach blanket daydreaming about clouds. Welcome friends, old and new, into your home. Buy a bouquet of lilies and watch them bloom. Find refreshment through the Lord, through joy and love, through novelty. You deserve a time of rest, claim it!

Danielle Crowley is a staff writer for the Daily Runner.