What comes to mind when you think about the summer? Aside from the 90+ degree temperatures, summer can be a time filled with cookouts, trips to the pool, vacations, mission trips, camps, and spending extra time outside as the sun stays out later. Summertime can be a season where people make more time; more time to simply be, to enjoy, to live, and to share. Most of the time students are spending all their time learning; adults are spending their time laboring in their workplaces. So much so, that the temptation exists to have “what we do” define “who we are” both by others and ourselves. It can be so easy to wake up, go to school or work, come home, eat, sleep, and repeat. We think that good schooling and a career can help give us the life we desire, but sometimes those things become our lives and there is not much room for anything else. But summer is a time of breaks.
Students take a break from school. Adults take a break from work, even if just for a few days, and we play, rest, adventure, fellowship, and enjoy. We make room for life to happen. And often what happens is that time of enjoyment can refuel us for our work and learning. This was what God had in mind when God created the Sabbath – the seventh day where “God finished the work that he had done…blessed the seventh day and hallowed it” (Genesis 2:2-3). That our work would fuel our rest and our rest would fuel our work. That breaking away from routine, would remind us that we are not what we do. You might spend a lot of your time as a banker, a teacher, a lawyer, a stay-at-home parent, or a student, but that is not your identity. We are God’s children, fashioned to glorify God and enjoy God forever. Pastor Lonnie will spend more time talking about our identity in greater detail on Sunday. But, it is in this place of taking time to break away, even in the limited time that might actually be possible, that we often can recognize life for what it truly is: a gift.
So what if we resolved as a church to have an endless summer? To not just leave the breaks for the summer season, but throughout our lives find ways to break away from the rigidness of routine in order to allow God to break in and gift us with the abundance of life filled with God’s goodness and grace.