Baseball. Barbecues. Bathing Suits. Are you ready for a summer vacation?
How about a vacation from God?
That sounds irreligious to say, but let’s be honest. It’s tempting to have that mindset during Summertime.
Bible gets dusty.
Prayer life shrinks.
Selfies by the pool take priority over acts of service.
After all, the Salvation Army only rings the bell during the Christmas season, so people less fortunate than me must be having fun too, right?
It’s not just individuals who hit pause on spiritual growth.
Churches—at least the ones in my area—are less active after Memorial Day. Other than a Family Camp or Vacation Bible School, the church calendar has a lot of white space.
Women’s Bible studies take a summer break. So do children’s Awana clubs. Small community groups within a church, that meet weekly in homes, are on hiatus.
Even church attendance and tithing is lower during summer. For even if a family has a staycation instead of going out of town, who wants to wait until Sunday afternoon to go on a hike or swim in the lake?
It’s not like God’s a killjoy. The Bible mentions festivities and God’s mandate for people to celebrate life.
Didn’t Jesus say, “the Sabbath was made for man.” We’re meant to rest at least one day out of the week. So why not set aside two weeks of vacation or three months of recreation?
Have I struck a nerve, yet? I hope you know I’m playing devil’s advocate.
I’m also NOT trying to guilt anyone or tell people how to spend their summer. I’m right there with other red-blooded Americans—weaving warm memories with my loved ones this summer.
However, conviction tugged my heart when I put on my sunscreen.
Summer break from school and normal routines are no excuse to ignore the Lord. I still need to seek God’s presence through His Word and prayer. I need to put on the armor of Christ as faithfully as my sunscreen.
I need to, but I also WANT to spend time with the Lord this summer because He doesn’t take a vacation from me.
He is ever present. And He longs to have a relationship with each of us that isn’t one-sided or confined to nine months of the year.
So why would I consider a sabbatical from the One who loves me with an everlasting love, and redeemed my soul?
The Bibles says, “Rejoice in the Lord, always!”
Always. Even in this… good ole Summertime.