seems to be about the commandment; to love God and love one’s neighbour. But the commandment is to love our neighbour
as our selves. Summer is a time to remind ourselves that our lives need to be
in balance. A time for God, neighbour and self, a time for rest, relaxation and
restoration. The idea is that life is a marathon not a sprint, this means not
burning ourselves out and becoming cynical or tired or both.
sun and heat make for a slower pace, and some of the church activities stop in the
summer, and give us a time to stop, relax and wonder about the meaning in our
lives, to do some dreaming about the possibilities and the hope for the future
even in the face of some obvious challenges. But we still need to do certain
things through the summer and we have activities only in the summer…… And my
holidays are at an off time between Canada Day in the park in Campbellford, the
picnic service on the Fifth Sunday in July at Roseneath, and the Ducky races in
"In time of desolation one should never make a change, but stand firm and
constant in the resolutions and decision which guided him the day before the
desolation, or to the decision which he observed in the preceding consolation."
as Philip Yancey summarizes:” Stand firm.”
paradox of summer is the reality that even though we stop to rest and relax the
point of it all is to be restored to continue to take our place in the
community; to continue to take part in the activities we are involved in with
others, with renewed and restored joy and hope, and maybe have a new
perspective of the community of faith and our place in it. (Maybe take on
something new as an individual or as part of the community.)
irony I feel as I write this, is because leadership in this Diocese as in the
others I have been a part of have seen their role as planning and organizing
more activities for the clergy and laity of the Diocese without providing any
leadership and help if stopping or cutting back on the activities we are already
engaged in. The reality is; we fill the
time we have in our lives either consciously or unconsciously. So to take on something new, we have to stop
or cut back on something we are already doing.
Maybe it is not for others, but for each of us to take responsibility
for our own lives and make our own choices. This may be the point of summer in
our time of rest and restoration, to ask ourselves what or who in our lives
gives us hope and joy? This would mean
planning to make more conscious choices rather than just falling back on a
pattern of behavior without any thought.
do have choices for our lives, and we blame others for our own choices. Wayne
Dyer tells the story of husband who was angry and frustrated because she made
him come with her to visit her family on Sunday afternoon, when he would have
preferred to stay home and watch football.
He begrudgingly went and hated every minute of the time, and he did not
enjoy spending time with his in laws. This all changed when he realized that to
go was his choice. He could stay and
incur his wife’s wrath or go with her, his choice. Once he realized that the choice was his, not
his wife’s, he actually came to enjoy his time with his in laws.
time of summer is a time of rest and relaxation from the marathon of our lives
to get us ready for the next stage in our lives because; To quote Reinhold
Niebuhr: “Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our
lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or
beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can
be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love.”
May this summer be a time of rest and renewal
and a blessing for all of us.