The temptation to wrangle as much fun as possible into the few short months of summer is hard for me to resist. But I’m learning that if I’m not careful, all the good things about summer get crowded into a schedule that’s bursting at the seams and far from relaxing. And summer whizzes right by me.
Ever since I was a girl, rushing home after the last bell of the school year, I’ve thought of summer as a shimmering pool of possibilities stretching out before me. Beckoning me to dive in.
Back then I couldn’t wait to spend time with my friends. Help my grandmothers in their garden. Make strawberry jam with my mom and sister. Swim at the public pool. And read for hours until well after my usual bedtime.
As I grew, the possibilities for how to spend my summer hours grew with me. In high school and college, there were summer jobs and parties and road trips. When I became a mom there were beach days, play dates, sports camps for the kids, and family vacations. The activities seemed endless, and I loved every sun-drenched moment.
I still love how every summer comes with a long and delightful list of possibilities for fun and relaxing. And I still want to dive in and not miss any of it. So before the first burger makes it off the grill at our Memorial Day barbecue, I pull out my calendar, pick up my pencil and start planning.
Then just about the time my fear of missing out is kicking into high gear, I remember these words of Jesus:
I’ve always thought these verses were about the serious realities of daily life. The things that can cause us to strive and work and worry. Necessities we can’t live without like food, shelter, and clothing. But what about less pressing concerns? Like how we spend our summer months. Does God want us to trust Him for those things, too?
Yes! Because even when our everyday human concerns turn to matters of rest and recreation, God steps in to provide for us as He always does. By giving us everything we need.
All the best parts of summer are good gifts from God.
The long summer days with extra hours to spend with friends and family are a gift from Him. And so are baseball games and concerts and cinnamon rolls at the fair. Pool parties, kids home from college and trips to see our folks. Roasting marshmallows over a campfire. Looking with wonder at a starry night sky. Taking deep breaths beside the ocean. All of these gifts – and so many more – come to us from His hand.
So we don’t need to scramble around trying to cram in everything these sunny days can hold.
Instead of being preoccupied with getting all we can out of these precious months, we can ask God to help us have a different kind of summer. A time for us to respond to His faithful giving with rested and thankful hearts.
We might miss out on a few big events. But we will have a summer filled with good gifts and everything we need. Just think of the shimmering pool of possibilities God has stretched out before us. And let’s dive in!