We are on the precipice of summer break at the college I teach at. I just finished two weeks of summer classes. The last of the students are finished with their spring semester. This year the students have been home for about two months. The pandemic meant all students had to leave, and have been attending classes remotely.
The pandemic not withstanding, it is still time for a summer break. Even if that means being at home with no homework, instead of being at home with homework. It is a break, though it’s a bit different than usual.
Summer breaks usually mean less or no homework. The grind of deadlines and the pressure of assignments is replaced with the din of the couch and the television. Students may have a summer job, or they may just spend some time recovering from the busy college life.
For the campus itself, things don’t slow down a whole lot. Admissions is busy answering questions for new students who will arrive in the fall. Administrators are making plans for next fall. Maintenance is prepping the campus, while food service in making plans for the sumptuous fare they will serve. Teachers are usually catching up on course prep, or sometimes speaking at various camps or churches.
However, while the work still goes on, there is a difference in the atmosphere. At times it is more relaxed. At times it’s quite frenetic. And yet, it is different. A “break” might be a bit much, but it is something different, that’s for sure.
The danger of breaks is that they extend beyond the thing being “broke” from. Taking a break from routine may mean taking a break from certain disciplines. Sometimes good things get caught up in a break too. Exercise for the body is excellent. But sometimes the break summer affords means we don’t really keep up with our physical health. Meeting weekly deadlines can tend to create a discipline of carefully watching over our life’s various responsibilities. But sometimes a break means we let the calendar fall into disarray as well.
While our physical health and our daily responsibilities are both important, our soul’s are vastly more important. To neglect a calendar is one thing. To neglect exercise means we might be a little more “winded” walking up some stairs. But to neglect our souls is to get spiritually “winded” when the moment of temptation arises, or when the opportunity to do good appears.
The blessing of summer is a change of pace. The danger is a time of distraction from what matters. This summer, whether you are a student, a teacher, or someone else, let’s purpose to keep up with caring for our soul. Be in the word. Be praying. Be with your church. Be accountable to another believer. Be living for His will, not your own.
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”