More Than Summer Camp
Words by Reagan Swier
Before I came to college, I was told that the first couple of weeks would feel just like summer camp. I can testify that parts of that statement are true. I have made many new friends in a short period of time, and I live with about twenty other girls day in and day out. Despite the similarities, however, this is not just a few weeks out of the summer; it is a new step in life.
Unlike summer camp, where most of us spend our days focused on one organized activity at a time, in college I have many different things fighting for my attention all at once.
In the history of my spiritual walk, one of my biggest temptations has been to try to do too much. I believe that my desire to be involved in things such as service, sports, and music is ultimately a good thing because it gives me an opportunity to share my God-given gifts. I know that God will provide the energy I need to accomplish all he asks of me. Philippians 4:13 says: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” However, I can’t imagine that me being overworked is something he desires.
On top of my class load, I had plans to be involved in many activities, such as tennis and worship, before I even arrived on campus. Within the first week, my schedule was quickly filling up. My free time started to diminish as I kept up with homework and the commitments I had made. The stress hit me hard during that transitional week.
“Do less, accomplish more,” was the phrase that popped out at me in that moment of hair-frizzing stress. It is better to do a few things with all your effort than to put miniscule effort into everything. This phrase gave me perspective, but I still felt worn out. Adjusting to a new stage in life will do that to a girl.
Up late one night, the pressure of the week consuming my thoughts, I looked through the pages in my Bible. I desperately hoped God would lead me to a verse that would speak to my need. My hope for relief was met! Matthew 11:28–30 (NIV) reads: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” True rest in the Lord is something I cannot afford to leave out of my life, no matter how busy I feel. This verse spoke so deeply into my soul that I have adopted it as my personal slogan for the time being. Even the chalkboard in my dorm now shouts the truth of this passage to me every time I come or go.
Church camp does a really good job of creating a time of rest, even in the midst of crazy activities. Though I must acknowledge that college is way different than camp, maybe time for rest is one aspect that should carry over. Through what I have experienced in my small amount of time at college, I see that this sort of rest is essential. Rest creates the balance you need to keep going. Even in a hectic day, it is okay to take time for chapel, a study break, or a movie night with friends. Having that balance in your life will pay off in college and the years to come.