Weekends leave no room for rest

Last week, I experienced a strange phenomenon. I stumbled into my dorm room, crashed on my bed and muttered, “Tomorrow’s Monday. Thank goodness!” Hang on just a minute. What was that again? Monday? Why on earth would anyone end a weekend full of fun and be thankful it was over? In my experience, weekends are every bit as busy—and about twice as exhausting—as a regular school week!

There seems to be some sort of disconnect here. Isn’t the weekend supposed to be a relaxing time of rest and rejuvenation before another week begins? But that doesn’t seem to be the case. That’s a problem. People, especially college students, need to take a step back and rethink the concept of weekends.

For me, this has always been an issue. During my senior year of high school, Sunday was the most exhausting day of the week. Some weeks I would get to church at 8:00 a.m. and not get home until 7:30 p.m. Sunday afternoons were filled with worship band and church orchestra rehearsals, choir practice, youth activities and so on. Waking up on Monday mornings after days like that was awful.

My exhaustion from Sunday would carry over into the rest of the week and beyond, accompanying me into another jam-packed, fun-filled weekend. It was a deadly cycle.

Of course, when I got to college, I couldn’t expect that things would get easier. My weekends here at JBU, though often filled with activities I wouldn’t want to miss, are filled nonetheless. There are friends to hang out with, movies to watch, parties to go to, papers to write, cookies to bake, tests to cram for, programs to participate in, clubs to join… I think you get the picture.

By now you might be thinking, “So what? College students are supposed to try to cram as much as possible into 24 hours. If you’re not exhausted by the end of the week, you’re doing it wrong!”

While I don’t personally agree with this—I’m a big fan of sleep—that’s not the point I’m trying to advocate here. I think it goes deeper than that. The book of Genesis, right after God finishes creating the universe as we know it, says this: “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God had rested from all His work.”

God didn’t do this because He was tired. He did it to set a pattern for people, because we do get tired! God knew from the beginning that we would need a day of rest to recharge for the next busy week. Ironically, what was intended as a day for relaxation has become the most busy and stressful of them all. God created the Sabbath as a gift to people, a day to relax, to focus on Him. And the real tragedy? Saturdays and Sundays are the days I’m least likely to spend time reading the Bible or in prayer, because those are the busy days when I don’t have time.

So, what’s the point? Obviously weekends are going to be busy. I’m not saying that JBU needs to pass a rule barring all campus activities on Saturdays and Sundays, because let’s be honest, we’d all hate that. I’m only suggesting that, this weekend, we take a step back, set aside some time for some good, honest rest. Rest without homework. Rest without social engagements. A time when we can take a deep breath, relax a minute alone to thank God for the rest He provides and ask Him to bless the coming Monday morning.

If we all do this, I am certain we will see a difference in how we face the busy week ahead.