Don't Waste Your Summer
During the busy summer season, we’re taking some time to look at some ways we can strive to use our summers intentionally, for the glory of God and the good of others.
Here’s what we’ve covered thus far:
- Don’t Waste Your Summer
- Plan Your Seasons
- 4 Ways To Vacation Well
- Rest Rightly, Rest Well
- Reliving And Living
One of the things I love about living in Bellingham is the weather. Yeah. I know. I’ve either been here too long, or I’m crazy. Or both. But, we do have four distinct seasons, with four distinct weather patterns. Having lived in places where it’s either “hot” or “cold” I appreciate the change of pace that the seasons bring.
Fall is a time for reflection, looking back at the year past. In winter, we plan for the year ahead and look forward to the sun’s return. Spring is a time for growth, as the flowers bloom and birds return to singing.
When summer returns, we rejoice: The “Orb” has returned! But even as it spreads its warmth, it keeps moving. It’s difficult to remember that summer is not a pause button on normality. Our lives keep going, just like the sun does.
In the midst of this fantastic season of the year, we face the temptation to pause the “normal” lives we lead, prone to either complete independence or overload. As we discuss these, prayerfully consider where you fall on the spectrum, and to which side you are inclined. It may be a mixture of both, or it could be one or the other. The goal here is not to incite defiance or guilt. Rather, our desire is for you to have a fantastic and fruitful summer, making the most of every day as it is given, whether spent in labor or rest.
When I was in grade-school, summer vacation was about me. I fought every chore I was given, every errand I ran. Looking back, I see that these things were in place to keep me from wasting my summer, providing much needed structure to our family of five. But I didn’t care. After nine months of school, summer vacation was something I had earned, and no one should be able to tell me how to use it.
Certainly, we have many demands of our effort and on our time. After laboring in what feels like a perpetual freezing mist for the dark months of winter, we can feel like we have a right to spend our sunny days however we desire.
In some respects, we do have a right to spend our days as we want. But, if you belong to Jesus, everything in your life is His. Every day He gives is grace to you. And because we’re His people and His witnesses, to only think of summer days as license to lives free of responsibility is a denial of our mission statement: “Go, therefore, making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you”. (Matt 28.19ff)
As tempting as it is to make this time of year all about us, it’s just as easy for us to only ever look for the next thing to do, rather than taking the time to recharge.
There is always something going on in the summertime. Barbecues, weddings, parties, vacations, day trips, picnics, on and on the list goes. Often, we approach the summer with the mindset that we must seize every opportunity. So we overload our schedules, and we look back at the end of summer having had a lot of fun, but exhausted and unsure of where all the time went.
Whatever the reason for the breakneck speed, when we overload our schedules this way we tell ourselves that we can handle more than we can handle. We forget that we, too, need rest.
Maybe we’re afraid we’re going to miss out on great memories, or that we’ll hurt the feelings of a friend or loved one. And either of those things may be true, perhaps both of them. But we must remember that as our lives belong to Jesus, so does our time. Certainly He wants us to work hard. He also wants us to rest.
Now, everyone’s different, and can handle differing flows of activity. Some, hearing that they must rest will embrace it, even to the point of unintentional laziness. Some will fight it and press on, simply preferring the faster pace of life. Where do you land on this spectrum?
Don’t Waste Your Summer
Due to these proclivities, it can be a challenge to use our summers intentionally. Whatever our response, we need to remember that while summer does offer a new rhythm of life, it does not put the rest of life on hold.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be discussing some ways to prepare for the summer season and to plan to the best of your ability so that we can learn to use summers our wisely, for the glory of God and the good of others. We don’t just want good memories from our summers, but God-given growth as well.
We pray that as you enter and leave this season, you can reflect and see evidence of God’s work in our lives as we look to the future.