What do you look forward to the most for summer?

You may be looking forward to living on the beach the whole summer or maybe hiking as many mountains as you can.

You may be looking forward to sleeping all day long at home or sleeping over at your friend’s or your cousin’s.

You might have plans to travel out of town or abroad. Or maybe you look forward to going home to the province over the summer.

You may have plans to binge watch your favorite Korean drama or Netflix series. Or maybe you look forward to finally start a new hobby.

Summer break is something that we can only enjoy as students. As soon as we join the workforce, these two months will shrink to fifteen days of vacation at most in a year. Wouldn’t you want to make the most out of these long breaks? But how do we do that?

Our bodies are not designed to be on the move constantly. In order to be consistently productive, our bodies need to rest. However, without moving for a long period of time, our muscles will atrophy—that is, waste away due to underuse or neglect. This is why we need to know and practice the rhythms of work and rest.

A life that is truly fruitful is one that ebbs and flows, that pauses and plays at the right time.

PAUSE

Take a pause on endless activities. I love learning new things and usually, I’d take the summer break as an opportunity to start a new hobby. Besides, I get bored doing nothing after a week. But there was one summer when I felt busier than when I had school. I had piano lessons, art class, and an advanced reading class, with family activities and hangouts in between. By the time the new school year started, I felt like I didn’t really take a break. I realized that I need to take a pause with the endless activities to spend more time with God.

Hit pause on your hangouts with friends. One of the greatest mysteries to parents is why their kids, who have been with friends almost every day for the entire school year, still hang out with the same friends during break. We might need to take a pause in hanging out with barkada to spend more time with family.

Hit pause on binge-watching series and playing video games. Watching a series or playing video games might relax and entertain us momentarily, but if we lose sleep or miss opportunities to spend time with and be salt light to our families over them, are they really worth it? We might need to take a pause in endless entertainment to spend more time on new learning experiences and building relationships with those who matter the most.

PLAY

Play on opportunities to earn. Imagine having a source of income apart from your allowance this summer. Is a summer job possible? Is there an entrepreneurial opportunity? Maximize your summer by earning and saving.

Play on opportunities to learn. Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to start? Is there a person you’ve always wanted to get mentoring from? Are there affordable summer classes for skills you’ve always wanted to hone? Spend your time discovering new things about yourself and developing your existing skills.

Play on opportunities to serve. Is there an opportunity to help out in household chores? Are there community projects you and your friends can volunteer in? Aside from binge-watching your favorite movie series, utilize your time by being a good help to your family and your community!

We may relate summer with a break, but this does not mean we hit pause in being followers of Jesus Christ. To quote Adam Mabry, “The art of rest is about learning how to rest with Jesus, not from Jesus.”

Let Psalm 23:2 be our guide, “He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.” At any given moment, as we follow the Lord, He either calls us to rest or He leads us somewhere. Whether we are still or we are moving is dependent on His direction, not on whether we are on summer break or not.

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