June 2009 Pastor's Ponderings

June 2009 Pastor's Ponderings

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

A friend of mine used to joke that he was studying to become a teacher for three good reasons: June, July, and August. While the truth is that he is an excellent teacher who truly cares for his students, the old joke about June, July, and August is funny because we all like the idea of having the time off. I also don’t know any teachers who actually take all that time “off.”

I’m sure my elementary school teachers were as ready for a break from me as I was for a break from school. Students and teachers alike counted down the last days of the school year. The math, language, history, and science work diminished and the frequency of nature movies increased. We celebrated with Last-Day-of-School class parties, and we all escaped into the warm summer afternoon.

My childhood summers were full; full of swim lessons, camping trips, visiting grand-parents, VBS, and even taking fun classes in summer school. (I’m sure my mother was as ready for us to return to school as we previously were ready to leave).

For adults summers are far different than those of our youth. That summer job that seemed like a neat idea transformed into a year-around commitment. Sprinkler parties turned into overtime. Lazy summer days when we complained that there was nothing to do are but a distant memory. When was the last time you had “nothing” to do?

The good news is that even as adults summer is the season when many of us take vacations – a break from our ordinary labors. Scripture is full of God’s telling us to take a break: God resting on the seventh day, the commandment to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy, Jesus’ frequent escapes to the wilderness, Jesus’ reminder that the Sabbath was created for us, …
We are reminded to take these breaks in order to get away; to take a break from our labor and rest, to break free from the tyranny of the urgent, and to break out of our ruts to spend time with God.

Invite God to go on vacation with you. Spend some quiet moments talking with God about your life and listen for his reply. Include a time of prayer and devotion as part of your daily vacation routine. Look for God’s presence in your day and consider your many blessings that are often obscured in the daily rush.
If you include God in your vacation I am sure that you will return with a renewed sense of God’s love and purpose for you that is far more important than an extra nap and a tan from the beach.

Your brother in Christ,
Paul