“If you can manage a day, you can manage your life.”
-Dr. Mike Murdock
For many young people, their vacation is a period to kill time, to relax, and to get away from the drudgery of academic work. “Duh, that’s why it’s called a ‘vacation’,” one may say.
Remember this: your youth is a critical period in your life for preparation and training. God does not want you to be aimless. A gun which does not aim in a definite direction will fire in any direction, causing havoc and destruction. However, a gun aimed in a specific direction at a definite target gives a clean shot. What’s your life going to be like in 10 years to come?
Here are ten things you can do to have a productive vacation:
1. Map out a definite plan
What do you seek to accomplish at the end of your vacation? Grab a pen and notepad and write them down. Remember that your priorities are important in this regard. You can list them without any order in the beginning and then later, rank them in the order of your priorities. Be definite about your goal. For example, you may say you want to be a better person by the end of the vacation- how can you practically achieve that? In what areas of your life do you want that improvement? What new habits must you cultivate and which ones must you replace? As you write down your plan, think about these things.
2. Give your complete attention to the Word and the Spirit.
Your personal relationship with God should matter to you more than any other thing in the world. Love the Lord! You cannot be successful without the Word and the Spirit. Some say they are unable to have their quiet time consistently when school is in session. Well, why don’t you concentrate on getting the Word into you this vacation? Don’t cumber yourself with so many irrelevant cares and activities that you’re too busy to read and meditate on the Word and pray. Spend quality time, say an hour daily, studying the Word and praying.
3. Invest in your personality
If you don’t have any book to read this vacation, please get to the nearest bookstore and buy some books to read. I’m not talking about novels or storybooks. As much as there are many lessons to learn as well as vocabulary building to do as you read novels, it is vital to read books that enrich your personality. Get faith-building, mind-empowering books to read. For instance, this vacation I am reading ‘The Power of your mind’ by Rev. Chris Oyakhilome and four other books. I recommend authors such as Kenneth Hagin, Bishop Dag Heward Mills, Albert Ocran and John C. Maxwell, just to name a few.
Choose at least one conference to attend. For example, the G-Youth Leadership Summit is on the 18th of June, 2016. Learn how to generate multiple streams of income there.
I advise you to be mindful of which conference you choose to attend. Carefully scrutinize the theme, speakers and be expectant as you go.
Camp meetings often take place during long vacations. Take advantage of your Church’s camp meeting and be transformed.
4. Acquire a skill
So, aside reading and writing, what other skill do you have? Can you code? How many words can you type per minute? Can you play any musical instrument? How are your driving skills? Can you speak in public?
The key to acquiring any skill is to discover where your passion is.
In today’s competitive corporate world, your certificate cannot make you stand out, because every graduate has one. Who will take that coveted job description? The one with a distinctive skill. Be the best at whatever you can do. Remember Proverbs 22:29- it says the one who is diligent will serve before kings and not mere men.
5. Control your SELF
Series. Movies. Games. Taking selfies. Television. Oh dear…
There’s so much fun to have, isn’t there?
Well, if you want to fulfil your destiny, you must learn to cultivate self-control in your life.
Beware of spending endless hours on these things. Do them in moderation. One hour a day is even too much. “Ah, why?” you ask. I talked about studying your Bible and praying at least one hour so if you spend at least an hour on these, isn’t there a balance?
Remember, a false balance is an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 11:1).
Channel your energies aright.
6. Do the work of an evangelist
Pastor Chris says, “We don’t have to play games anymore…the time is short.” The time is short ooo…hmmm
It’s a very solemn yet joyful thought- that our Lord Jesus will return soon.
How is that related to your vacation?
You see, your vacation is your free time (well, for some students). And so you can use most of the period to reach out to the lost!
Win some souls. Lock yourself in your room and pray for lost souls, then get out of your room and preach the Gospel. Overcome your fears by stepping out in faith. You can also go with a friend. Two are better than one.
Do something daring this vacation! Go to a school in your community and seek permission to preach the Gospel.
Remember, those who have not heard the Gospel still have hope of hearing because you are close to them. Please, don’t dash their hope.
Do the work of an evangelist!
7. Prepare for the coming semester
I know that in the University of Ghana, we have a handbook detailing the various courses of the departments. Take some time out to scan through it prayerfully and choose your courses for the coming semester after thorough investigation of those courses.
Think about how you can meaningfully contribute to other students’ lives and have a plan of action to do that. In what way can you help your roommates? You don’t need a leadership position or title to contribute positively to the society in which you are.
If your grades seem to be like an avalanche of failure, it’s time to sit up. Buy your notebooks ahead of time. Determine to get to lectures on time. What stuff should you take out of your schedule to make more time for studies? What smart study skills can you employ to easily absorb what you learn? Above all, serve the Lord gladly while on campus. In truth, that will promote you greatly. If you get committed to what God is passionate about, He’s inextricably committed to all that concerns you, including your academics!
8. Be mentored
Wise friends will make you wise, foolish friends will destroy your life (Proverbs 13:20). Who are you willing to submit to and learn from? Listen to that person. Learn from somebody by serving the person. It could be your mum or dad, or your pastor. Follow. Learn. Don’t think you know it all.
9. Make an impact
Leave your environment better than you met it. Identify a need and meet it. Solve a problem. Let your light shine! Make the difference at your workplace, if you’re doing an internship. Change the status quo. Let somebody smile after they have met you. Show them the love of Christ.
10. Earn some spondulicks
Never let money be your motivation for doing anything. Do everything in love. Do everything for the glory of God.
Let me end with a story:
One Friday evening during my vacation, I was standing ‘at my somewhere’ and then a man approached me. He asked me the course I was doing. I responded to him. And then he asked me to come over to his office on Monday.
So I went to the office that Monday, and I was interviewed for a job. Can you imagine?! I was neither expecting nor looking for a job but I was asked to resume work the following day!
Wow! For the first time, I had my own workspace! And I was doing what I loved- editing a newsletter and social media management.
I worked diligently without expecting any money. At the end of the first month, I was paid. Can you imagine?! Trust me, what I was paid was not a pittance at the time!
Even when school re-opened, my boss still asked that I stay and work while schooling (I was nonresident then).
By solving a problem in the company, I earned some money while on vacation.
Your story may not be like mine but you can identify a need in wherever ypu are and meet it- you can earn some money by doing so.
This reminds me of a dear peer who started doing natural fruit juice in bottles in my community. She managed to help her mum to pay her own schoolfees with what she earned.
Dear one, be wise- don’t waste your vacation!