For Youth And Young Adult: Vacation Not Vaccum
“I’m going to sleep and sleep, then go to a camp, visit friends and just laze around. I’m going to forget that such things as books exist. Later I’ll probably look for a job.”
Vacation—balm to weary minds and tired bodies. Lazy days. No hounding deadlines for assignments or that all-important exam.
There come days to all of us when we wish life was one whole long vacation. Yet we all know that there is more to life than leisure. Sooner or later, we have to get a job and make a living. How gorgeous, sighs the office worker as she thinks of the student who has the summer off. But many a young person is not so sure. It’s OK, replies a student nonchalantly, but it sure can get boring. How will you use this vacation? Play? Daydream? Do a bit of every-thing?
A Time to Develop
Time management is not easy. During the school year, your life is quite predictable. Your schedule is marked out for you—classes, assignments, exams, and extracurricular activities. Students groan about the monotony of routine, but there is a certain amount of security in regimented living. That is why most colleges have a few “perennials”—students who stay around as long as they can, instead of graduating and facing the world.
So during this vacation, plan for self-development. Several areas come to mind—emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational and social. Experience has shown that the life-style you practice during vacations will become a pattern for your life in the future. So plan carefully.
Most people strive for wholesome emotional development. Encompassed within this are feelings of security and fulfillment, acceptance by others and self-confidence. When you cultivate healthy relationships with people around you, you are contributing to your emotional health. They may be your family members (You’ll have more time for them during vacation), your neighbors and your friends. Going to youth groups and church camps will give you excellent opportunities to meet and make friends. Improving on old skills or learning new ones can also provide you with a sense of fulfillment and give you confidence in yourself and your abilities. You may want to take guitar lessons, learn to sew or bake or improve in some sport. You will be surprised at what can be done with just a little time and effort.
While in school, you probably have to get up early, you have a packed timetable, and it is difficult to fit in a time for the Lord. With vacation at hand, have you set aside a time to meet with God daily? It might seem easy with more time available but it is often more difficult to maintain devotions after school is out. The go-slow pattern has a way of creeping into a person’s habits regarding spiritual things. So plan and discipline.
Plan for character studies, theme studies and book studies. The time you spend on these will be time worth spending. Get together with a prayer partner and meet regularly during the holidays. How about coming together to discuss good books, do a Bible study, visit some church members? The Possibilities are endless.
You may want to throw away your notes and put aside your books, but don’t let your mind rust. You can and should continue your education out of school. Think of new areas you have never investigated before, visit the libraries, and read books. Stretch your mind. Realms of knowledge wait for you to tap.
For a start, you could read the daily newspaper. Seek someone out with whom you can discuss what you have read.
You will perhaps take a job. Our job environments are laboratories which God will use to develop and mould our Christian character. So in contents of our vocation we need to learn the meaning of working “heartily, as to the Lord” (Col. 3:23).
What are you like at work? Are you punctual, polite, interested and honest?
Do your colleagues learn something about Christian ethics from your life at work? Don’t be in a hurry for spectacular conversions; instead, stop complaining about the person who sits next to you. Try seeing him as someone whom God has placed there to help you develop the patience and love you so readily accepted in last night’s Bible study as a Christian characteristic.
Vacation time can be lonely. You probably think that you will have all the time in the world to talk and laugh with friends, but friends do go separate ways once school is over. You might find yourself moping for your best pal. Or your gang will be working day and night, spending the evening alone and dreaming of the good old school days when you had all your friends around you.
You may want to put away your books, but don’t let your mind rust.
Let’s face it. It’s going to take more initiative to develop and maintain friendship. But it will not be realistic to recall the old days. As we move into life, we are put together with all types of people. In most cases they are not there by our choice, but as the Lord was open to all, we need to be open to the people whom God has sovereignly placed to be around us.
Initiate friendships. Build bridges of communication. Rejoice in the new friends whom God has given you.
God’s desire for us is that we develop ourselves at all times—vacation included—in all areas of our lives. So before this vacation, why not take time to plan for growth in each of these different areas? Make your vacation—your whole life—count for Him.