Summer is nearly half over. And before we know it, another one will bite the dust, swallowed by hectic schedules, work loads, and busyness. But I remember a time when summers were long, lazy days full of rest, wonderment, exploration and fun; a time of rejuvenation of spirit, mind and body when one could read, reconnect with friends and nature, rest and . . . think. Of course I was a young girl then and a lot has changed. There doesn’t seem to be time for lazy summers anymore. Little time to rest, explore or even for much reflection and thinking. Current life speed is “fast forward.” And it’s taking a toll on our health, our relationships, and even our creativity.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” It talks about a time to plant and to harvest, a time to cry and laugh, etc. But could we not add, “a time to work and a time to rest?” Ecclesiastes speaks of rhythm and balance, and the natural flow of things. And when that flow is broken something is sure to suffer. Is that why heart disease, cancer and a dozen other major illnesses are on the rise? I think it’s one reason.
But now as an adult and a doer, it’s not always easy for me to enjoy lazy summers. It seems too decadent somehow, too wasteful, too unproductive. Even my extended vacations always had a purpose and mission. New lands needed to be explored, historical sites visited. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every minute of them, as well as all the countless mini trips I’ve taken with my family. But the truth is, some of the best times I’ve had were right in my own back yard, while I was smeared with sun block and holding a frosty glass of ice tea and listening to the squeals of my children at play, and now my grandchildren, or reading a good book, or just enjoying the feel of the sun on a warm summer afternoon.
I think there’s something magical about lazy summer days, days given to us by God for the purpose of enjoying His many blessings as well as for reconnecting with Him. Times for reflection, prayer and rest. I must admit I’ve squandered most of the first half of this summer but I hope to do better in the next half, and carve out quiet times to do all of the above, knowing it won’t be wasted because God is not only a God of action, He is also a God of balance and order and rest.
Until next week,