During most semesters, I am thoroughly ready for the next big break, whether that be Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, Spring break, or Summer break. Come to think of it, that's been every semester I can remember, even before college--I'm always ready for break.
This semester is an exception, however, which is on one hand, no surprise, seeing as I'm studying in the Netherlands. We actually finished our Spring break almost a week ago now. Don't get me wrong: I was thoroughly excited for it. That week we traveled to all sorts of places all over Europe, and it was awesome. The crazy thing is, though, by the time break was over, I was ready for it to be over. And from what I've heard from everyone else in the SPICE group, so were they. We were all so exhausted and just ready for some normality.
Then, when I went online and saw that Dordt was about to start its Spring break, all I could think was, "Already?!" How can this semester already be half-way over? I keep getting this feeling that time is slipping through my fingers.
So, obviously, I have this perspective partly because I'm having such a unique and almost unreal semester of studying in a different country. But this is also a feeling I've had at Dordt many times, and it reminds me of something that I am always trying to learn: I need to stop always looking forward to breaks or to the next big thing. God has put us in each moment to honor him in the now--whether that be through pleasure or work or joy or suffering. It's not that we aren't called to look forward to the future, but we are called to trust God for it as much as for the present.
There will always be something to look forward to, but if we are constantly looking forward, than time flies away from us, unused and unappreciated. If we learn to use the present more meaningfully, then those things that we are looking forward to will also become more meaningful, as they will be in their proper place. Rather than idolizing pleasure, we can see that true joy comes out of all sorts of experiences, and more often than not, those experiences are hard and painful. Instead of one blob of fun, our lives will become intricate mosaics of all different experiences.
So, this semester, I am doing my best to not always be looking forward to the future at the expense of the present. I am trying not to just enjoy every moment, because not every moment is meant to enjoy. With the "enjoy every moment mentality," then in the moments are not so fun I automatically look to the next one! Instead, I am trying to serve and honor God in each moment. This is something I need to learn for this semester, for college as a whole, and for whatever stage of life I am in (and as the end of my college career is getting closer, I've been thinking a lot more about other stages of life).
That said, God has given me a lot of joy this semester! Here are a few peeks into that (I went on break with Cory and Ashley, so you'll see a lot of them:)).