Have you started yet?
A few years ago, my brother, Cheyenne, posted a memorable picture of himself swimming up out of a pool with his mouth wide open like he was about to take a giant bite. His caption read: “I’m eating summer.”
I hope you are able to do that this year too. Whether or not you are fortunate enough to have an official summer vacation, I hope you will be able to savor the taste of evening walks, bicycle rides, warm morning devotions, day trips to Newport Beach, and moonlit moments under a Tiki Torch.
Summer is a complex season. For some, it is so busy that it’s gone before it even begins, while for others it is a crash pad where they desperately try to recoup from a year of overcrowded schedules and workloads. Some people hang all of their annual hopes for fun on a measly one or two-week getaway, while others expect the whole season to be exotic, tropical, and memorable, while still remaining affordable.
We sure put a lot of pressure on our summers.
I think our summers might be a little healthier if we approached them with some specific objectives. Here are a few of my thoughts, and then I would love to hear yours.
- Stay on mission even while you take a break. Even while we plan our weekends away and anticipate some well-deserved leisure time, let’s not forget our calling to love and care for our world. Let’s remember the people who don’t have the summer options that we do, and let’s be present and available for the people who might need us most. Staying on mission won’t diminish our sense of fun; rather, it will enhance it and keep it in a healthier perspective.
- Don’t let the mission keep you from taking a break. Just as we shouldn’t abandon the mission when we pause for a break, neither should we allow the needs of the mission to cancel our break. Rest was God’s idea, and if we allow ourselves to drink deeply of His Sabbath rest we will be much more likely to stay on mission for the long haul. So rest, read, play, and enjoy the next couple of months. Winston Churchill said, “A change is as good as a rest” so take advantage of both intentional resting times as well as the changing rhythms that summer naturally brings.
- Practice moderation. Let’s learn the art of unplugging without totally checking out, of enjoying and experiencing without over-indulging or bingeing to the point of regret.
- Live in the moment. I am currently learning to do this, and it is helping me in so many areas of my life. Life is not all about the next thing it is about this thing right here right now.
- And finally, wherever you are, whatever your means, and whatever you are living through, do your best to take a bite of summer every day.