Ever since I was very young the first day of summer vacation has been spent marking the calendar in multiple colors and ways to signify all of the events that were before me for three whole months. I loved to look at those blank calendar pages and imagine all of the free time that was sure to unfold in the weeks ahead. I pictured myself roaming the neighborhood for hours on my bike, getting together with the other neighbor kids for kickball games at dusk, reading thick mysteries and spending long afternoons at the beach playing in the water. I imagined having time to waste, and the possibilities that those three months contained seemed endless.
And then, slowly, the little boxes assigned for each day would begin to fill up as I carefully added all of the games, family outings, trips and special events that our family had planned for the summer months. Soon the summer calendar filled up even though we didn’t have the traditional rhythms of school and our weekly commitments. Life looked and felt full all of a sudden. Of course, I still managed to find plenty of time to waste with friends, play, bike, swim and read. Life was full but it had a different pace to it, time slowed down a bit, there was time to reflect and play. It felt like holy time.
I heard recently that, "there is no wasted time - only holy time." As someone who has always lived tied pretty closely to the rhythms of a calendar and a schedule this comment has challenged me to think about time in new ways. I am reminded of the value in rest, conversation, solitude, quiet times and playful times – even if they don’t fit nicely into those little squares on a calendar page. The idea of holy time also helps me to remember that God is present in all time.
I am convinced that every once in a while we need to change up how we spend our time so that we can recognize God in new and different ways. Summer seems like a pretty good time to spend some holy time with one another! As our schedules change naturally it can be just the opportunity that we need to waste a little time with one another and with God.
The Gethsemane summer calendar is already pretty full these days. The rhythms may be different but there are still many opportunities for us to get together and be the church in this place. There are many opportunities for us to waste a little time together.
So I invite you to take out your calendar before all of the little boxes for the month of June get too full and make room for a few of Gethsemane’s holy happenings. On June 5 in worship we will be recognizing the hard work of our graduates and honoring them with a reception. June 10 and 11 is the Glocal Mission event at Mt Calvary Lutheran where you are invited to learn about local and global mission opportunities. We are sending out our youth to do mission in Alaska on July 18. Even if you are not going on the trip, I encourage you to mark it on your calendar and pray for them while they are gone. The younger kids leave the next week for Bible camp. On June 21 we are getting together for the very first Music and Arts fundraiser at the Geth-Summer Melodies celebration.
And of course, there is no better way to waste a little time together than on Sunday mornings as we gather to praise God, pray, experience the forgiveness of sins and hear again the promise of the gospel. I look forward to wasting some time with you this summer - it is holy time indeed!