God is obviously present at Biola — he is the topic of our classroom discussions, the focus of the chapels we are scrambling to attend and the center of the Caf conversations we are squeezing in before we leave for home. Our relationships with God flourish during our time at Biola. We can get so used to this God-centered culture that maintaining a similarly strong relationship with the Lord at home becomes a challenge.
Being intentional about worship during finals
Preparing for a strong relationship with the Lord at home starts by maintaining one during finals week. With finals comes late nights, broken schedules and general campus disorientation. This often means forgetting those routines that keep us connected with the Lord on a daily basis. We excuse it by quietly humming Hillsong music as we frantically browse our textbook minutes before a final, but this isn’t worship. Half distracted, half cursing our final assignments, our hearts are too far from praise. Likewise, listening to Phil Wickham’s Christmas album, no matter how reverent he sounds, is not guaranteed to illicit genuine worship from us.
It’s hard to remember God when you’re in the midst of papers and tests, so we take advantage of the mandatory chapel requirement — scrambling to get all 30 in — as our way of writing him into our well-occupied schedule. Somehow, in the midst of studying the Israelites who constantly forgot their Lord, we manage to forget him, too. Instead of feeling panicked about studying time lost as we collect our final chapel credits, embrace it as an opportunity to spend time with God guilt free.
Nurturing relationship with God during interterm
The danger comes when this cluttered schedule stretches into interterm, and we never reestablish our relationship with the one for whom we’re at this school. With class schedules and social calendars dissolved, some of us will seek to fill up our days and weeks in order to avoid any semblance of “aloneness.” Many of us will over-commit to too many responsibilities, finding value in our ability to do and to produce. People constantly buy into the idea of busyness-as-purpose. Before we know it, interterm is over, and what kept us away from daily exchange with the Lord during the “busy” semester has found its way into our habits.
Though our culture defines this life of overcommitment as success, for the Christian, it is a life of imbalance. There is a time for work, a time for rest, a time for community, and a time for solitude. Interterm provides an opportunity to reevaluate our attitudes toward each of these different aspects of life.
Whatever interterm contains for you, it is an open invitation for revitalization and refreshment in the Lord. Whether you get to rest on a west coast beach or sit by the fire in an east coast snow storm, time for reflection is welcomed.
Rather than waking up every morning next week scheming about how you can cram last-minute studying in, give yourself a few extra minutes to meditate on God’s word and pray for your friends and classmates by name. Begin the habits now that will stretch into a restful interterm.