The summer months are here. And despite all the contemporary country songs about relaxin’ in the sun during the summertime, let’s face it:
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that, since we live in such a frigid climate, we become a little outdoor-activity crazed when the temperature finally (and sometimes reluctantly) climbs above 50°F.
Maybe it has something to do with being in desperate need of some serious sunshine and vitamin D to drive away the gloominess and greyness of the winter months.
I’d venture to say it most definitely has something to do with the fact that we feel the need to pack as much as we possibly can into those few months when our kids/grandkids/nieces & nephews/school-employed spouses are out of school.
Maybe it even has something to do with holdover feelings from our own school days. Summer is supposed to be about vacation and fun and freedom and doing, right?
But if we’re not careful, we can let all of those wonderful plans and intentions become such a driving force that before we know it, summer’s gone, and we’re left standing and wondering, “Wait a minute … what happened?”
So this summer, I encourage you to take some time to find your own peace wherever you can.
In his letter to the Christians in Rome, Paul says:
God’s kingdom isn’t about eating food and drinking but about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever serves Christ this way pleases God and gets human approval. So let’s strive for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up.
~ Romans 14:17-19, Common English Bible
There are all sorts of different ways that we can find our peace. Some people enjoy working outside in their gardens, feeling the dirt in their hands and watching their beautiful plants grow. Some love to curl up under a tree or in a comfortable deck chair with a good book (be you an e-reader devotee or a “real book” holdout). Some have a sport or a hobby that brings them enjoyment and peace: volleyball, golf, photography, geocaching, swimming, etc. Some like to go for a walk, either alone or with a pet or with family and friends. And some people like to just sit in the quiet – inside or outside – and listen and breathe and simply be.
We have a few different ways that we get to do this together as congregations this summer, both in play and in service. We can serve together at the Dorothy Day House, at the new Habitat for Humanity builds in Cannon Falls and Red Wing, and at Feed My Starving Children. And when we feel like we’re in need of connection and fellowship with one another, we can gather for the monthly campfires (2nd Sun. in Zumbrota and 4th Sun. in Oronoco, both from 7:00-8:00 p.m.), Peace Camp, our joint worship service at the Goodhue County Fair in August, and our joint Minnesota Twins outing on Sept. 1.
Whatever plans your summer holds, I share Paul’s hope and prayer for you: Strive for that kingdom of God – that righteousness, that peace, that joy. Strive for what brings peace and builds up. Amen.