How are you going to spend your summer?
Find fruitful ways to spend your time.
In Australia, right now it’s the summer holidays! Students across the country are rejoicing at the long break from school, and it’s a fantastic time to sit back, relax and enjoy some down time.
But sometimes, when we have time off, the things we choose to do aren’t actually all that good for us. While bingeing on Netflix is fun, doing it for three days in a row isn’t so great! So, here are five ideas for things you can do when you have down time that will help you grow, love God more and use your time for his glory.
Read the Bible
It’s kind of obvious, right?! While we should be reading the Bible in our busy times, sometimes it gets neglected. So when you have free time, open God’s word and spend time in it. Journal, draw or compose in response to what you’re reading, start a new reading plan or even head to a cafe to read with friends. Just make sure when you’re in holiday mode, your Bible reading doesn’t take a break too.
God has given humans unique gifts and talents, so what better way to thank him for them than by using them. Whatever you’re good at, use that talent to get creative. If you’re doing something you love, you’ll probably find it relaxing. Maybe you could even use your down time to try something new, like knitting or scrapbooking. A benefit of your creativity will be that you can make things for your friends and family, and be generous.
When I’m trying to relax, my tendency is to stay in bed or on the couch, blinds shut and laptop open. But there’s an entire world out there that God made, so get out and enjoy it! Whether you’re going for a quick walk or spending the day on a public transport adventure around your city, go with the intention of marvelling at what God has created and given to us. Take photos, breathe in the fresh air and take care of your body with some exercise while you’re at it!
Spend time with family
Often our relationships with those closest to us suffer when we’re stressed. We yell at our mums, are distant with our dads and don’t have time for our siblings. So when you are free, make time for your family. Be intentional about hanging out with your relatives, and spending enough time at home that you don’t make them feel like you’re just their tenant. Pitch in around the house, be there for family dinners and make sure your relatives know how much you care about them.
Serve those in need
While you may have time to relax, others may still be under a lot of pressure and in need of love, care and support. Show compassion and love to those in need by devoting some of your free time to them. Maybe you could get involved in your church’s meals ministry and cook for a family with a new baby or a sick member. Or you could head to a local soup kitchen and serve the homeless. Get together with some friends, clear out your wardrobes and sell your clothes to raise money for a charity. Whatever you do, do it to show grace to others, just as Christ did to you.