Everyone loves a good break, especially after a stretch of stress - maybe school, overwhelming sports, or work. As spring break approaches, and we have our plans to go some place amazing or maybe a stay-cation - reality is, we all want a good, refreshing, fun break. And no matter where you go or what you do, there’s one key ingredient to make your break the best it can possibly be. What is the key to having the best spring break ever?
Most of us are aware of the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5,000 (which was actually 5,000 men, not including women and children — so it was likely feeding the 10-15,000… but who’s counting?). Prior to this miracle, Jesus heard news that his good friend John the Baptist had been killed. Naturally, Jesus just wanted to be alone — but He was a bit of a miracle-performing rockstar at this time in His life, so He had thousands of people following Him. Instead of getting alone time, Jesus miraculously heals people, talks to people, meets them, has compassion on them, and when they were hungry - Jesus turned a few loaves of bread and a couple fish into enough food for everyone.
This, to me, sounds like a largely stressful situation. Jesus hears this sad news about John, He wanted to be alone - instead, thousands of people swarm Him to perform miracles and hang out. I know that’d stress me out…
Matthew 14:22-25 is when Jesus finally catches a break,
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd. After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. Later that night, He was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance form land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
Jesus finally gets a break, and what does He do with His alone time? He doesn’t kick His feet up at the beach, He doesn’t seek to entertain Himself, or look for ways to forget His worry — Jesus spends time alone praying to His Heavenly Father. He stayed up there all night praying, until “shortly before dawn” — through the night until morning, spent with His Father. I’d guess that many of us, when we’re stressed and need a break, our first inclination isn’t getting alone time to pray.
The key to having the perfect spring break is to seek solitude with your Savior. The danger with vacation is when it becomes a vacation from God. When church isn’t so regular and fun is focus, we can shut God out of our break time. Busyness is one of the biggest reasons for not spending time with God, so now that the week has come when stress has subsided — let this be a spiritually rejuvenating time!
I am not at all saying that Hawaii or Cabo are bad ways to spend a spring break (that sounds fantastic, actually…). I just highly encourage finding some quality alone time with God - maybe it’s catching a sunrise on the beach, alone, with your Heavenly Father - praising Him, thanking Him, chatting with Him, and lifting your worries and stress to Him… Intentional alone time with our Heavenly Father is exactly what Jesus longed for, especially in a time that would be considered to us highly stressful. Take some time out of your spring break to seek some alone time with Jesus, and come back to your normal routine spiritually energized. The question is: will you do it? Will you commit to quality time with the Heavenly Father? I hope and pray so. If you do, I believe you’ll find your break to be even more refreshing than originally expected…