“Time passes, eternity awaits.” I spent a summer at Franciscan University’s campus in Austria and a clock mural stared at me daily with this saying. It reminded me of life’s passing nature. Whenever tempted to distract or numb myself to the significance of each moment, this ticking clock reminded me of the most important task at hand, working towards my salvation.
As spring break weeks are coming up, you might be tempted to spend some well-earned time checking out mentally, watching endless hours of TV, or going on vacation and vegging out at the beach.
Rest and leisure are both good things and you certainly should engage in them. Unfortunately, not all kinds of leisure are equal; our culture often promotes a brain-free and virtue-free kind of leisure. Thus, in response to the culture, let’s throw ourselves into a version of Spring Break that is “fully alive.” Let us pursue the truly good things that the Lord desires for us and decline the illusory charades of this passing world. Thankfully with some diligence, you can spend your spring break in a way that is both restful and good for your soul. Here are some ways to make the most of your spring break.
In an address to young people, Pope Saint John Paul II encouraged us to look to Jesus Christ, as we “wonder at the mystery of being ourselves.” How often do you have time to wonder at the beauty and mystery of your existence during the academic year? Take advantage of this week without exams or deadlines and spend some time simply being and reflecting.
2. Give of yourself
You can be generous with your time, even if you’re not going on a mission trip. Visit a soup kitchen, help a grandparent around the house, or simply do all of your chores at home without being told. Doing the simplest tasks with joy can be a great offering to God.
3. Reconnect with old friends at home
Spring break is a great time to visit with friends from home. Do you have friends from home who have fallen away from the faith? Reconnect with them and invite them for a coffee; share with them the good that God has done in your life.
Most college students feel like they do not have time to pray enough during the school year. Spring break is a great time to recommit to praying a daily rosary and going to daily Mass.
5. Travel Well
We all know that Spring Break is often a time to travel. Travelling is great, but, if you do travel, I invite you to make memories that you can cherish for a lifetime. College spring breaks often involve memories that are fun for a moment, or maybe even a year or two, but because they involve sin are not the kind of memories one wants to remember for a lifetime. Ask yourself, am I creating the kind of memories I would want to share with my future spouse and my children? If yes, then proceed with your plans! If not, then it is time to reconsider.
6. Have a book date
How many of us have a long list of the books we would read if only we had the time? Spring break is your chance to dive into good, life-giving literature. Check out this list of recommendations.
Make the most of your spring break; you will not get this time back. Every day I pray the Litany of Perpetual Help. In one of the lines, I ask God for the grace “That I may not delay my conversion from day to day.” This spring break, I encourage you to go deeper in your relationship with God than ever before; I promise that it will be time well spent.