4 Thoughts for 1 Awesome Summer
This year our city has been favoured with the early arrival of spring, and consequently, summer. It seems everything has come one month earlier, and this is something to be thankful for. As the seasons transition from the short-lived winter to the early arrival of summer, we too have an opportunity to respond in a similar manner. As we are in this wonderfully, extended season of spring, and as we enter these summer months, I would like to encourage each of you with four words to reflect upon as you prepare for long summer nights ahead. They are: Refreshing, renewing, relaxing & resting. They represent the four seasons in a year, each culminating to be experienced during this one season we are heading into, summer.
Our city can be characterized by busyness, drivenness, time frames, deadlines, people to meet, and “to do” lists to get through. It seems there isn’t enough time in the time we have been alotted each day to get through all the items that vie for our attention and energy. So, we need to be refreshed by engaging in those things that bring us great excitement, enjoyment, and ease. Not sure where to start? Start with asking yourself, “What do I love doing?”, and go do it. As a result, you will be more alive, content, peaceful, and joyful. Do what makes you come alive and experience the “times of refreshing [that] come from the Lord”, that Acts 3:20 talks about.
With the excessive pace of life we have grown accustomed to renewal is key to bringing us back to balance in who we are. The hyper-activity that surrounds us needs to be followed by a time of hypo-activity, where we are given the time and space to be ourselves and to just be. We are not automated robots programmed to produce ‘x’ amount of widgets every hour of each day. This pace of life is simply not enduring or everlasting. No one can keep up with it precisely because we were not created to live in this manner. We need in-built time for renewal to come in and to infiltrate every part of us. There is so much talk about the renewal of our minds, which is a good thing, but we also need a renewal, or overhaul, of our entire being. Spend some time thinking about what renewal would look like for you and engage in it.
With all the “hustle and bustle” that fills our weeks, relaxing seems like a choice and prized alternative. Vacations are prominent during summer months, for this very reason. They are a great way to carve in the much needed time for relaxing. A vacation is like a detox, or a cleanse, of our entire system. It’s a time where there are no deadlines, job descriptions to be followed, or “have to’s.” Simply put, vacationing should be a priority in our calendar’s. If you’re staying in town this summer, think of some areas outside the city you can venture off for a day trip or weekend away. What I’ve found most relaxing is heading West along the #1 Highway, until I reach “God’s Country” – BC. What about you?
We all long for rest for our heart’s, so why not actually find the time to do so this summer? In other words, take a sabbath. We could all benefit from it. As many of us know, this is the 4th commandment, of ten, God instructs us to follow in the Bible (see Genesis 2:3, Exodus 20:8, Mark 2:27, to start with.) But most of us simply have a hard time following this practice. We know it in our heads and now we get to experience it in our heart’s. Sabbath is a time where we draw closer to God and closer to the people around us, including ourselves. It’s also a time where refreshing, renewal, and relaxation can be expressed and have a chance to be drawn in.
Dwight Van Middlesworth is the leader of the UChurch Multimedia Team and has been part of our church family for 13 years. A writing and reading enthusiast, he enjoys thinking about the big and small things in life, as well as using his witty sense of humour to make other’s laugh.