|Assuming a 15 hour course load, the recommended time a student should spend on classwork each week is 45 hours (a full-time job plus a bit more). As a semester lasts 15 weeks, one can expect your hypothetical student to be engaged in school work some 675 hours in a semester. Should that same student plow through college in eight semesters, school work will account for 5,360 hours out of four years of a student's life. That's 223 24-hour days out of the 1,460 days a student is enrolled, or about 15% of the total time available. Of course, no one studies all day every day, so some more adjustments are necessary; 8 hours a day of school-related work means 669 full-time days will be needed to graduate, or 46% of the total days available. Rounding up a bit for the sake of Calculus II and other such mind-bending courses, your typical student still has half of his or her four years of life at college to figure out how to spend.
Sleep, work, eating; those will all take some of that time. Playing, too, is a necessary piece of the jumble that is a full life. But the abundant life Jesus speaks of is not the full life that is sometimes meant. A full life often means one that is spent with every moment planned, or every activity contributing to a better, stronger you. To the contrary, the abundant life of which Jesus speaks is found in a different direction; it's in the giving of ourselves in service to others, and in the giving up of our own self-serving plans for the sake of a greater good. That good is nothing less than the reign of God breaking in on this earth, if not in its full glory, then in its holy presence invading the broken places of this world, where suffering is the loudest word and hope seems distant. And it is found, paradoxically, in not doing anything, but in letting your own agenda fall aside and simply taking time to rest in the presence of God through worship and prayer.
Yes, the business of service and the utterly still act of prayer is what makes for the abundant life, but it is not for some day after graduation. It is offered us even now. A service project over Spring Break may be what you need; a time of prayer each week may be helpful, too. Below are ways and means to make either or both happen. Take part as you will, but know that you risk discovering something strange; the life you may have known, no matter how good, can be so much more beautiful, all by resting and serving the One who wants for you and me a life abundant.
Spring Break Service Project
We're keeping it local this year... Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, March 15-17, 10:00 - 2:00. We'll meet at Southside Community Center to do some deep-cleaning of their kitchen and other areas, and pitching in at the Center in whatever other ways are needed. Sign up at Christ Chapel or e-mail to express an interest and on what days you can help.