Class is wrapped.  Exams are done.  Projects are completed. The semester is over.

Now, that we are a week into the winter break (and nearing Christmas), I think a question is in order: What are you doing with your time? How are you spending these three weeks of respite from the rigors of university life?  

Just as we are called to steward our gifts and abilities in ways that reflect our God and His Kingdom, so, too are we called to steward our time.  Words like wisely, fruitfully, efficiently come to mind.  And, yet, in reality, our time is often spend foolishly, unfruitfully, and frivolously.  Often, this happens as a result of either apathy, or not having a plan as to how we will use the time graciously given to us by our Father in heaven.  

So, as (hopefully) an encouragement for how you use your time as you look ahead at the next couple of weeks away from university, I've put down a few suggestions:

1. Take time to rest. Use the extra time you have to find rest not only your for your body, but also for your mind and spirit.  Rest is not simply sleeping.  In fact, too much sleep can be detrimental to actually resting.  So take time to sleep, but also consider taking some time to exercise/play sports, play games with family or friends, enjoy a movie, visit a museum, or read a new book. Refresh yourself through these various gifts of God's grace to us.  

2. Engage SpirituallyMake it a priority to participate in corporate worship.  Attend a Christmas Eve service, a Christmas day service, and rejoice in the wonder of the mystery of the incarnation--God coming in the likeness of man, taking on a human nature to save His people--and the significance of this event for your redemption, as well as in-breaking of the Kingdom of God. Additionally, carve out time (even if its only a few minutes to start) to read Scripture, to reflect on it, and pray.  

3. Set goals for the new year. It's hard to believe that 2017 is nearly here.  In these last days of 2016, take some time to reflect on the past year: What have you learned? How have you changed? What were the highlights? The lowpoints? How did you see God at work? After that, consider the year ahead, and set some goals academically, spiritually, and socially.  

4. Reflect the love, grace, and truth of our Lord to those around you. As ambassadors of the Kingdom of God and ministers of reconciliation, called to image our God to the world around you, consider how you might do so in your relationships with family, friends, and neighbors.  Take advantage of the opportunities presented to you during this break to glorify God through volunteering/service, quality time with family, and thoughtful conversations.  

These are just a few ways to steward the time given you well. I challenge you to take on one or all of them this winter break.  And if you have suggestions of other beneficial ways to steward your time, post them in the comments section below.