I love summer! Love, love, love it!
It’s my favorite time of year…after Springtime! I love the sunshiny brightness with all the beautiful flowers, I love the gatherings– the graduations, reunions and weddings–and I love the growing season. It’s a busy time. The days are longer and we’re cramming more into them. The farm is on full tilt and we go from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 at night on most days.
And then there is that almost mandatory leisure because what’s summer without summer vacation? And if you’ve invested in a camper, or a tent, or a boat or expensive backpacking gear, aren’t you obligated to use it, you know, get your money’s worth? So you add a few weekend excursions to your vacation time. And it’s all good, right?
In all the good-life living this summer, I have lost sight of the Him-first living. At times this summer I have hunted for my misplaced sunglasses more ardently that I have hunted for treasure in God’s Word or rejuvenation in His presence. I haven’t forgotten Him, mind you, I’ve just let other things squeeze Him to the periphery of my summer life while I pursue the season.
Today I looked up the word essential because in all this wonderful summer time goodness I’ve gotten a little sidetracked about the Essential in my life.
essential |iˈsenCHəl| adjective 1 absolutely necessary; extremely important: [ with infinitive ] • [ attrib. ] fundamental or central to the nature of something or someone
“Fundamental or central to the nature of something or someone!”
Here it is: I’ve been neglecting the LORD! I’m not going to minimize it with sugary words. The truth is, a lot of things–and not necessarily bad things–have been crowding Him out. Not only has my time with Him taken a back seat to summer, but my thoughts of Him aren’t as prevalent as I roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer! I’m praying on the go more and skipping that all important first meal of the day: Time in His Word!
But I don’t get the sense that God’s really ticked at me. He hasn’t sent me an all caps text with pretend LOLs and emoticons reminding me of how looooong it’s been since we’ve spent quality time together. He hasn’t stepped up in my face with harsh words reprimanding me for repeatedly blowing off our dates. He hasn’t flicked a tsunami of silent treatment my direction to manipulate me. He hasn’t threatened to end the relationship because I haven’t been carrying my end.
Being the Grace that He is, he’s just been whispering my name. And I hear Him. I hear the still small sound of His voice in the lulls between meeting up with friends or hosting gatherings or beautifying my yard or taking care of the business of having fun! At the stop lights between here and there, I hear His soft voice: Sherrie, where are you?
As with Adam in the garden, The LORD desires my company as well. And like Adam, I’m off getting myself in trouble–in trouble with my mouth, in trouble with my thoughts, in trouble with my attitudes and in trouble with more of me and less of Him. In trouble with making my priorities of supreme interest.
Laying in bed last night, I watched a full moon ride the night sky–a serene reminder of the unchangeableness of God. It put the smallness of me and my aspirations into view. He is the all-season God who never changes or vacillates or goes on vacation.
And He is essential. He is central and fundamental to the nature of me. And of you as well.
Unlike my camper, I am not self-contained.
God is the essential ingredient to my life . Nothing alters that reality. My life and my nature derive their meaning from Him. Period.
Today I have cleared my calendar. Today I have set aside to travel–to journey to the heart and presence of the Essential One.
If like me, you have found yourself hijacked by summer–if you find yourself a little dry, a little caught up in the season, a little too full of yourself: Take some time to reconnect.