Hot Fun In The Summer Sun
What comes to mind when you think of summer? For some it’s beaches and pools, barbecues and games, family and friends. For others it’s heat and humidity, sunburn and sweat, mosquitoes and extra expenses. Perspective matters, doesn’t it?
Personally I’m not a big fan of summer. In fact, it’s my least favorite season. The older I get, the less I am able to tolerate the heat and humidity. As an indoor enthusiast, the idea of spending time sweltering outdoors has little appeal for me. Even when I was a teacher, summer meant trying to recover from the previous school year while still thinking ahead to the next. And it passes as fast as a fireworks flash!
Still, there are important things to consider about seasons. Psalm 74:17 tells us, “You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you have made summer and winter.” So whether you love summer or hate it, the fact is that God has established the seasons, each with its purpose. Let’s take a closer look at that.
It’s Okay To Slow Down
For most of us, summer is spelled V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N. This could mean anything from an extended trip to an exotic locale to daytrips or a staycation. Regardless of the form it takes, it’s important for us to take time to rest and recharge our batteries. That’s one reason God created the Sabbath (but we’ll save that for another post). There’s an old saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It also makes Jack burn out pretty quick. Having been there and done that, I don’t recommend it. Yes, there is definitely a need for each of us to build some down time into our schedule.
Some people have a hard time slowing down. How many times have you heard someone say, “I just started relaxing on the last day of my vacation!” It can be difficult to unplug, especially if your tendency is to be a workaholic. But it’s essential for your mental, physical, and emotional health. Jesus recognized this when He said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Don’t feel guilty about taking time off; self-care is not selfish. Recognize it as part of God’s plan for your life.
Enjoy, Not Expire
Outdoor activities abound in the summertime. There are all sorts of things to do. You might find it hard to pass them up. But remember that the reason you’re on vacation is to rest and relax. You don’t have to be constantly doing something. Try to include some nonactive activities. Indulge in a long, leisurely lunch, or a nice nap in a hammock. This is especially necessary if you’ve been going through a stressful period. King David knew what that was like, and he remarked in Psalm 32:4, “My strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.” Don’t let that happen to you. You want to enjoy your time off, not expire from it.
At the same time, look for opportunities to share God’s love with those around you. Special events and family gatherings may open up chances to share about Jesus. People who are relaxing may be more open to spiritual conversations. Summer parades and street festivals are great places to pass out gospel tracts and Christian freebies. Watch for those “divine appointments” that God may set up for you. Proverbs 10:5 says, “He who gathers in summer is a prudent son.” Let’s gather those who are curious about Christ.
Don’t Forget To Refresh Your Soul
Summer is the halfway point of the year. Did you make any New Year’s goals or resolutions? How is that going? Slow summer days may be just the time to do some re-evaluating and adjusting, or establishing some new goals. You don’t have to wait until January 1 to move in a new direction.
We tend to think of physical relaxation during vacation, but summer can also be a time of spiritual refreshing. Don’t leave God out of your summer plans. Maybe you can explore some new churches if you’ve been away for awhile. Keep renewing your mind with God’s Word. Spend some prayer time with your heavenly Father as you enjoy His creation. Consider taking a day for a personal spiritual retreat. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Ask God for a Holy Spirit refill, and let God fill you with His perfect peace this summer.
Summer is the season of refreshing. Make this year’s vacation the best you’ve ever had!
Did you enjoy this post? Share with the buttons on the left, and subscribe for more!
“Spring: The Season of New Beginnings” http://www.livingthetransformedlife.com/spring-the-season-of-new-beginnings
“Savor the Season You’re In” http://www.livingthetransformedlife.com/savor-the-season-you’re-in