Ahhhh…..summertime! Long days, lingering light, the sounds of children playing, the smells of backyard barbecues—all the familiar signs of summer’s laid-back leisure fill our senses. When the warm days return, the child in us grows restless and wants to be released, with that let-loose feeling of “school’s out!!” As adults, we must continue our work obligations, and yet that primal feeling of vacation seems to slow our biorhythms and we hanker for a more carefree pace.
Recently I‘ve heard people talk about slacking off on their prayer practice, swept up in the fun activities of summer days. And I got to thinking—Do we take a vacation from God? Is God relegated to the more rigorous schedule of our “school year” and we get some time off in the summer?
How about a vacation WITH God? How about bringing God into our more leisurely pace—and hanging out with God at the beach? How about doing our morning prayer outside in the morning light on the patio? What about spiritual reading in the chaise lounge or hammock? What about pausing at the end of the day and watching the sun set s-l-o-w-l-y, just being in silent communion with God as the last light of day hushes even the birds? The desert fathers and mothers heeded the call to pray ALWAYS. Surely they would encourage us to pray all ways—and there’s another way to pray in summer!
Bring God into our leisure. Let summer be a time for slow musing and pondering…breathing deeply, and consciously choosing not to rush from task to task. Bring God into those spaces! God can be in a slow sip of cool lemonade or the fragrance of a bright garden flower. God can delight in you as you play with friends and family!!! And as the Pentecost sequence so sweetly says, God’s Spirit is for us “grateful coolness in the heat.”
So how will you bring God into your rest and recreation? How can you share summer with God?