Well, the school year is finally winding down. Standardized testing, AP testing, and the majority of my finals are finally over! Halleluiah to that! Unfortunately though, that means the next week and a half spent in school will be a waste of my time- given we have nothing left to do in all but one of my classes.
A common phrase of mine recently has been “this is a waste of time,” which is partially true. Me being someone who is happiest when my schedule is full, the end of the school year is always difficult for me- no more soccer practice, no more dance classes, no more band practice, no more piano lessons… I could go on. I love being busy and feeling productive so, naturally, when we sit around in class doing nothing, I find it a tad frustrating.
However, God has been pricking my heart about this over the past couple weeks, especially the past couple days. I attended a graduation ceremony the other night and a common theme in many of the speeches given by students, teachers, and administration was to live in the moment and to be thankful for the little things.
Isn’t it crazy how when God is trying to show you something it starts popping up literally everywhere?! Yeah, I think so too. Anyways.
I’ve always been one to appreciate the little things- the sound of rain on the roof, the thank you notes, time spent with my grandparents, etc- but for some reason I thought that the “little things” didn’t apply to school. Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “that makes no sense,” and I completely agree. It makes no sense at all. As a servant of Christ, school should be a huge burden of my heart. My school is a mission field that I get to invest in daily… yet as soon as the school year starts to wind down, it doesn’t seem important any more. God has been constantly showing me where I could be serving him, even when there is no school work to be done… in fact, He has shown me that this is the opportune time to invest in those around me and build relationships that can be nurtured during the downtime of summer vacation.
I’ve noticed that school isn’t wasting my time, but I’ve been wasting my own.
Maybe over the past month or so you have been feeling as I have- like you have simply been wasting your time. I encourage you today to waste your time well.
Take a step back and smell the roses.
Enjoy the moments you have because you are not guaranteed to experience them again. When you feel like you aren’t being productive just because your schedule isn’t full, find a way to bring glory to Christ and invest in those around you whom you may have missed if you were too busy to look around.
There is no harm in having some “you” time.
Use your down time to refocus your mind on what God’s purpose is for your life. Sit back and “wallow in God’s awesomeness,” as my stand-in youth pastor, Stephen, would say. Remember who Christ says you are and ask God to help you become everything you are created to be. Sometimes the craziness of life can simply be paused by intentionally setting time aside to slow down and gather your thoughts.
Find peace in the Word of God.
Frequently, life can’t just be put on pause. You have kids, and jobs and responsibilities that you can’t just pretend like aren’t there. Completely understandable! I get it. Even though I am “just a teenager” and I “don’t have any real responsibilities yet,” (which I completely disagree with but that is a conversation for another day) I experience the stress of life just like anyone else does. Life is chaotic and, thankfully, as Christians, we have a rock to cling to: Jesus Christ. Jesus is not moved by this world’s circumstances. He is the same no matter where we are or what we are going through. His character never changes. In John 14:27, Jesus promises, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” When is seems like your calendar is controlling you, look to Christ to find peace and comfort.
Again, I am a very busy person and there have been multiple occasions when I had to cut something out of my schedule because I was feeling so burnt out. Something that a mentor of mine has told me time and time again is that if you are too busy to spend quality time with God, then you are busier than God ever intended you to be. Yikes… it hits home every time! Be bold enough to take something out of you schedule in order to allow God to replenish and refresh your soul so that you can effectively help bring His Kingdom down to earth.
In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon writes, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.” Be content in the season you are in! God has you right where he wants you and he is ready to use you in God-sized ways right where you are and grow you into who he wants you to be. Whether you barely have a moment to breathe, or you feel like you are trudging along just to get to the next day, don’t let a moment to be intentional and share the love of Christ pass you by.
Wasted time by societies definition could very well be the crucial time God uses to bring another person into a relationship with Him.
Be intentional! Conquer the busyness of life with the guidance and peace given by Christ.