Ah, summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Summer is probably my favorite season. Dry, hot days (some of us like the heat, thank you very much, as long as it’s not muggy) that linger into warm evenings. Fresh watermelon, peaches, corn on the cob, and homemade ice cream. Family roadtrips, vacations, and reunions. Lingering daylight at the end of the workday. More laid-back family schedules. Swimming and camping. Catching a ballgame at Dodger stadium. In my book, it’s all good. Bring on the blackouts.
The Apostle Paul once admonished Christians to live wisely amidst evil days, making the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:15-16). I wonder what Paul might have written to us this side of the summer solstice in order to encourage us to do the same. While I wouldn’t turn any of the following into laws, I would like to stir up your Christian thinking as to how you can make the most of every opportunity (redeem the time) this summer. The following are suggestions along that line.
First, don’t take a vacation from God. Take advantage of opportunities you’ll have to pray surrounded by nature’s grandeur, worship in different church settings, and meditate on God’s Word without the rush of deadlines.
Second, take advantage of longer days to build relationships in your community. Brush off that grill, fire up the barbeque, and share a meal. Join in a neighborhood driveway basketball game. Invite some of the youngsters on your street to Vacation Bible School. You never know when God may use a relationship to help draw someone closer to Him.
Third, spend some quality time with your family creating special memories. Some of my favorite childhood memories stem from an annual family camping trip to Yosemite. Those times conveyed to me that our family was important, that God was part of all our lives, and that nature rocks.
Finally, take some time to be personally renewed. Balance the need to do with the need to be. One teacher friend takes time every August to take stock, reevaluate, and set new goals for the school year to come. May you make the most of your opportunities this summer.