Monday, March 21

Honoring God During Spring Break

Be happy young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart, and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment. --Ecclesiastes 11:9

Today I happened to bump into one of my husband's former college roommates. Seeing him brought back a number of memories of what it was like to be a college student, hanging out with a large group of friends, staying out late on the weekends, and putting thousands of miles on the car driving all over southern California following around the school's jazz band. Many of my friends whose lives still rotate around a school schedule are currently enjoying a week of Spring Break. For some, this week is an excuse to party; get a little crazy before buckling down for the last stretch of the school year.

It's a highly popularized belief among college students that spring break represents a rite of passage and is part of the experience of being young. I was never much one for parties myself, so the concept was a bit lost on me. Phrases like "you're only young once" and "make the most of it while you can" become the mantra of those who want to give themselves license to behave recklessly or irresponsibly. Today's verse in Ecclesiastes chapter 11 seems to echo that sentiment. However, look closely at the end of verse 9 where it says "but remember that for all things God will bring you to judgment".

Does this mean that we shouldn't go ahead and follow our hearts and have fun while we are young? Of course not! God didn't create us to be boring, stuffy people. He gave us so many things to experience in this life, and different things to appreciate while we are young. But, it is very important that the desires of our hearts and the things we pursue line up with God's plan for us. Being young is no excuse for putting aside God's wisdom.

I am continually amazed at how happy and content I am when I seek after the things of God. I also know that I am incredibly blessed in my current station in life. Although I'm not a college student anymore and I have the responsibilities that come with being a wife, I still have a lot of freedom to discover who it is that God is teaching me to become. I'm young enough that I still have a lot of decisions left yet to make.

Being young isn't always easy, particularly as a young Christian in the college setting. It can be easy to get caught up in doing reckless and irresponsible things, especially when it seems like everyone else we know is doing the same stuff. I'm very thankful for the times that my convictions as a Christian kept me from participating in certain things. No matter how fun or harmless those activities seemed at the time, I knew that they weren't what God wanted me to pursue. I know without a doubt that when I look back on those years, I will have the pleasure of reliving many wonderful, exciting memories.

By making sure that my heart's pursuits were in line with God's guidelines, I spared myself the pain and embarrassment of making reckless decisions all for the sake of "getting it out of my system" while I was young. I know that even though I made some mistakes here and there, God's judgment will rest favorably upon me because I did my best to follow his plan for my life.
There's more to life than just enjoying it and living in the moment. It's about cherishing each day as a gift from God, and using our time to honor and glorify him with our choices and activities.

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