The difficult thing about being a university student is that you’re never quite fully working and never quite fully resting. When you are having a night off from writing essays, there is definitely a book you could be reading. When the library is open 24-7, the pressure to stay because technically you can, makes it difficult to walk away guilt free. If you aren’t in a 9-5 paid job, turning off your work emails isn’t an option, and even on holiday you probably have a summer research list.
Finding rhythms of work and rest when you are paying to be working, probably also working to be paying, and trying to maintain an active social life, can be exhausting. No wonder student mental health struggles are so prevalent. It’s almost a relief to discover the world shrinks when you graduate. At least with a job you know when to switch off from work and when you’re paid to switch on.
Helping young adults find space to turn off their technology and tune into how they’re really doing, is vital. Prayer can be a great recalibration of priorities and mindset. Having a moment to remember God is bigger than you and can handle all of your jobs, expectations and ideas, is an utter relief to discover.
All of us could probably do with times of real focused work and real focused rest in our never-sleeping culture. It’s not just the younger generations now struggling with too much screen time and not enough head space to really think, and really be. I’d like to end my week of daily prayers with a prayer for rest, for us all.
Father God, we take this moment to switch off to distraction and tune into you. Help us find healthy rhythms of work and rest. Help us celebrate a job well done and help us find freedom in just having fun. We pray that students particularly would find this healthier way to live. Amen.
Blog taken from BBC Radio 4's 'Prayer For The Day': listen HERE to the broadcast (none of us were up at 5.43am after all!)
Photo by @CVDOP Limbocker on Unsplash