“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” -Proverbs 3:27
“No man has a right to be idle… Where is it in such a world as this that health, and leisure, and affluence may not find some ignorance to instruct, some wrong to redress, some want to supply, some misery to alleviate?” –William Wilberforce
By now, about the only barricade between our men and summer vacation is finals. The school year has just about come to a close, and the finish line is in sight. Or is it?
As I read Brian Lee’s devotional last week, I began to think on his main challenge to finish strong. He implored the men to finish the school year with their best effort as they move into the summer. The problem I have is that a number of men will abuse the sense of completion associated with reaching the finish line at the end of the school year and check out altogether for the summer.
One of the greatest challenges I have run into since graduation is the feeling that I am never finished. I wrap up my work day and begin to turn my attention towards the next event, person or task that beckons for my attention. When I look at my calendar and take a mental inventory of what I have on my plate, I don’t see a finish line. I’ll be first to admit that many others share my plight and that it’s likely to get worse before it gets better as my priorities and responsibilities become even more taxing.
Where is my finish line?
What I’m about to say will either kill your excitement for summer vacation or help you experience life abundantly. Your work is not done, and your summer is not your own. You were bought with a price from May to August as well, and the Lord has prepared good works for you to walk in regardless of the month on the calendar.
I previously wrote about bearing your own load. We are walking in disobedience if we’re spreading ourselves too thin and taking on loads we can’t carry. Sabbath is also a spiritual discipline that needs to be developed. Rick Warren encourages ministers to divert daily, withdraw weekly and abandon annually. We have to let the Lord recharge our batteries.
Many struggle to find balance between tending to their soul and tending to their responsibilities, but, when you look at the epidemic of apathy within the church, it’s hard to argue that a large portion of the body is spiritually overworking themselves. The general population is going to have to fight the temptation to completely check out for the summer.
However, there is so much to be done. The Wilberforce quote nails it. There is always ignorance to instruct, a wrong to redress, a want to supply and a misery to alleviate. By checking out for summer or any extended period, we’re withholding good and acting in contradiction to a clearly stated command.
Ultimately, the call to action is to run hard to finish the semester, and then keep running. There is no shortage of wrongs to be righted and good to provide.