When I was in college, I always looked forward to summer. Lazy mornings with big homemade breakfasts, long days spent at the beach, reconnecting with high school friends; and most importantly, no classes to attend or study for.
Rest is a good gift from God, and summer in a lot of ways, is a season of rest as a college student. Yet so often when I was in college, my summers were not actually restful and life giving. Sleeping until noon, binging on Netflix, catching up on errands, and staying out way too late with friends became some of my favorite ways to spend a day off. While these are not bad, they often would replace much-needed time spent with God.
In our passage for this week, we see an example of Jesus taking time out of his day to spend time with his Father:
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
Questions to Consider
1. How does Jesus model the importance of time spent with God?
2. Jesus took time away from his busy schedule and expectations of others to spend time alone with the Father. Do you resonate with the exclamations that “everyone is looking for you”?
3. What things get in the way of you spending time with God?
4. What are some rhythms of spending time with God that you work into your life?
The passage goes on to detail how Jesus gets back to work: traveling through the towns and villages, teaching and performing miracles. The time Jesus takes to spend alone with his Father fuels him. His ability to return to the work God called him to do started with the time he took alone with his Father.
How does this connect with us? While we can be physically rested, we can actually be spiritually exhausted. During the summer months, without the commitments of 8am classes or late night rush events, we rightly should focus on our mental and physical rest. But we often forget about our spiritual well-being. If neglected, our spiritual lives can turn into a desert- dry and bland without any refreshment.
Don’t go back to school feeling spiritually exhausted. Instead, start blocking out time to spend with God every day, starting today! It can be as simple as getting up early and spending 10 minutes in prayer before starting your day.
For some ideas, check out:
Summer, Time to Connect
Prayer 101: Part 1 and Part 2
Lauren McDonough is the Greek InterVarsity staff at University of Rhode Island. She is a member of Chi Omega sorority.