When we think about summer I believe we all fall back into the idea that this is a “time off,” or at the very least, a break from the routine. It is imbedded in us from the days of our youth, anxiously waiting for the end of school so we could be off for the summer. “Off,” meaning not having the same obligations of school, waking up early, doing homework, busy schedules, etc. These expectations, or at least these yearnings, persist even though as adults we don’t get summer “off” anymore. We might take a vacation but for the majority of the time we are all still working, be it at home or at the office. And if you are at home your work just doubled if the kids are there with you now.
Yet this expectation to be “off” is persistent; we each want a break. And it is one of the beautiful ironies of life that when we get it we quickly become bored with “nothing to do.” Funny how only two days into summer the refrain I hear year after year from my kids is, “I’m bored! What can I do?”
Some might call it God’s sick sense of humor on us, that we are restless without something “to do,” or at least we feel like couch potatoes after doing nothing for very long. So we each come up with a summer project or list of things we had put off that we always meant to get to. Things like gardening projects, books we wanted to read, places we wanted to see. But what if there was a more intentional purpose for our yearning?
What if God implanted this “restlessness” into creation so that we might continually seek to engage life differently? But not merely engage life, but to actually engage God in new ways. You see, to be engaged by God in a living relationship, in a living faith, is not a seasonal or part-time occupation. To be engaged in a living faith is a year-round activity with seasonal shifts. It is a lifelong pursuit, a pursuit approached differently at different times, but one with the same goal in mind—growth.
So how might you possibly engage God differently this summer? Better yet, how do you expect that God will be engaging you differently over the next few months? We have each learned that if you wait for God to surprise you, you might be really surprised. So how about you proactively take up one of the Elements of a Living Faith as your “summer project?” It might be a Bible study you were not free to take before, or you might join a new social ministry you had always wanted to do, or be a part of the small group that has been inviting you. Thinking in holistic terms; how could you be a better steward of your faith life and the gifts, the talents God has given you?
This summer, rather than simply working on a tan or your golf game, how about you work on your God game… and get engaged.
Hope to see you in the field!