Rachel Allen

Hello Spring Break . . . Goodbye Dignity?

Welcome, my friends, to that wonderful time of year when you get to take a deep breath, get away from school and all of its homework/papers/midterms/stresses etc., go somewhere beachy . . . and totally forget who you are?

Anyone can see that losing all sense of self is the #1 objective of an MTV-style Spring Break (beaches, booze, and babes, amiright?). I know that isn't how everyone is spending their highly-anticipated week of freedom, but let's be honest: the current state of the union looks something like that for so many high school and college students.

Fake Freedom

Life is stressful, right? Between school and work and relationships, it can be exhausting, and Spring Break is the perfect way to blow off some steam and finally relax. And over the next few weeks, countless teens and young adults will make very, very poor decisions … some that they won't remember, and some they won't be able to forget, because they'll regret them for the rest of their lives … all in the name of freedom.

Real freedom is doing whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it, right? Say that within earshot of Ke$ha's songwriting team and odds are good that we'll hear it on the radio next week . . .

But I'd guess that most of us are smart enough to look at life and realize that a crappy definition of freedom like that won't lead us to freedom at all. Either we've lived it, and felt the emptiness, or seen others live it, and witnessed the loss.

It's a Biblical truth that sin is fun – for a hot minute (Hebrews 11:25) … and it's just as true that sin leads to death (Romans 6:23). The fun part loses a bit of its appeal when we realize how much it truly costs us, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

The primary definition of sin is acting contrary to the reason that God gave us (CCC 1849, 1872). We were all given brains for a reason, and when we choose to compromise our reason … through alcohol, drugs, lust, loneliness, whatever … we make ourselves (and others) miserable.

bring your brain

I'm not saying ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏdon't go to the beach … get your butt to the chapel!' Go to the beach, if you can! I would, because I live in Missouri. But when you do go to the beach (or to the mountains, or to your couch, or to the chapel), just make sure you go with your head on straight. Don't leave your mind at home.

I've always liked Spring Break, especially in college, because I always did what I could to make them memorable. My sophomore year of college, I drove from St. Louis to Philadelphia (in a day . . . yowza) with three girlfriends because there were a few empty couches there with our names on them. We wanted to run up the library steps as we belted out the Rocky theme song … so we did.

The next year, I went to Egypt. I was studying abroad in London and met up with some friends in Madrid, then joined them for a Spanish-speaking tour group that took us from Luxor to Cairo to Alexandria and back (side note: I took four years of French in high school, so that was . . . interesting). And my senior year . . . I didn't do anything. I stayed home, I watched movies, I caught up with friends who were in town, and I slept. And it was glorious.

Enjoy your Spring Break … really enjoy it, don't let it pass in a blur. Spring Break is a gift from God that exists to make you happy. So use your reason to let it do just that … be truly happy. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:17).

Rachel Allen

About the Author

I work for a retreat ministry called the REAP Team, where it's my full-time job to talk about sex, love, dating, and chastity (which can sometimes lead to some awesomely awkward moments). I love being Catholic, watching movies, and browsing antique malls. The only thing I have against winter is the fact that there's no baseball. Feel free to email me at [email protected] or follow me on Twitter @rachel_m_allen