I have a love/hate relationship with the summer. To start with, it’s so hot! We’re set to hit 96 degrees this week and summer has just begun. In the summer, I go to bed with the air conditioner set at 66 because I can’t sleep when it is so humid and stuffy. You might ask, “Why do you live in the south if you can’t stand the heat?” The truth is, I ask myself this question every summer as I sweat when I walk five feet from my car into a store.
Summer is also one of my busiest times of the year. At our church, we have all of our camps in the month of June. Which means I spend all of my time not only prepping for Sunday, but prepping for camps as well. It gets tiring, but I truly enjoy our camps themselves so like I said, my relationship with the summer is complicated.
At the beginning of June, I had plans for how I was going to get my work done, spend time with my spouse, work out, and find time to enjoy the spontaneity that summertime offers with friends. One week later I realized none of these well-thought-out plans would work as I came home from work late, spent no time with my spouse or friends, and made it to the gym on two wheels. So much for my productive, high expectation-filled summer.
Maybe for you summer seems nice, but like me, interruptions add extra stress to your normal routine-filled life. It might be separating your children as they argue in the car on vacation, or having to change a flat tire in the blazing heat, or maybe all the date nights planned with your spouse fall through. Our summer plans don’t always turn out exactly how we had anticipated when June began.
When I think of a person from the Bible who loved a plan, I think of Martha. She had a plan as she prepared a meal for Jesus and his disciples. She also had a plan for her sister, Mary, to help her. Those plans certainly didn’t turn out like she envisioned them.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 38:41-42
I think this verse gives us a glimpse into the beauty of summer. Martha was so busy making sure her plans worked out that she missed the special moment Jesus was offering her. She got so caught up in the preparation, she missed the entire experience of being in Jesus’ presence.
This summer, instead of focusing on all the things not going as planned, embrace the small moments in between. When it rains during your beach vacation, use that time to play hide and seek inside with your kids. When your college student who came home for the summer gets on your nerves, remember that August is coming and enjoy the time you have with them now. Instead of griping about the heat, go get a snow cone with a friend.
Use this time of year when everyone feels lighter due to the lack of routine and embrace the small, insignificant moments happening as your plans fall through. After all, that’s what summer is all about.