Minnesotans measure the summer by three events. Summer begins on Memorial Day, ends on Labor Day and crescendos with our state fair in late August. In fact we count the days until our state fair begins – 86 from today.
Have you given any thought to how you will use these beautiful days to change your Christian life, to grow your spiritual maturity, to bring God into your family, or to bless your church?
Summer is a season of opportunity. Here are some suggestions.
- Make use of the early mornings. When the air temperature is in the single digits as it is on so many Minnesota mornings, who wants to get out from under the pile of blankets? But when the sun pours in the windows long before 6:00am, getting out of bed doesn’t seem quite as hard. Use the extra time for a prayer walk in your neighborhood or for Bible reading with a cup of morning drink.
- Invite your small group or others from church to your home.Some people don’t have the interior space to host guests. Summer nights can fix that for you. Ask your guests to bring lawn chairs and sit outside one evening. Laugh, drink some lemonade or sweet tea, talk about Jesus, and enjoy the common bond in your salvation. If you live in a townhome or an apartment, use the common green space or a nearby park.
- Read a Christian biography. We gain so much from the examples and stories of those who have walked the road before us. Their stories inspire us, challenge us, model for us, and prompt us to live the Sermon on the Mount, to fulfill the Great Commission, to exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit. Come on, you can do this – one book over the summer about a Christian you will be glad to get to know.
- Explore creation with one of your children. A summer in the Upper Midwest is glorious. Lakes, rivers, hills, and woods surround us. They all declare the glory of God and are tools for you to point a child to God. When you take one of your kids on a simple walk along the Mississippi River or accept the challenge of a couple of days in the boundary waters, you show her God. In those quieter moments when neither she nor you are on your phones, she may see your heart for God and her. You may hear his concerns and fears, and you will have opportunity to pray over him and with him.
- Get in better physical shape. It’s easier to stay in shape than it is to get in shape, I know. One of the problems with poor physical condition is the limitations it imposes on us in other areas. We fatigue quicker leaving less energy to share life with our families. We don’t have the capacity to serve because our bodies won’t let us. We’re tired all the time. I’m nearly 53. I get what happens in adult bodies. I also understand I contribute to my current status and have been given by God the capacity to alter my body to some extent. For many the longer days and warmer temperatures provide an opportunity to do some necessary work on our bodies.
- Meet other Christians. When you’re Up North or on a road trip and away from our church on a Lord’s Day, don’t be away from other Christians. Somewhere within driving distance, there likely is a group of Christians gathering to worship. Join them. Your presence will encourage them. Learning there are Christians where you are vacationing will strengthen you by reinforcing God's truth that you are not alone in this Christian life. Your family learns there is no such thing as a vacation away from our Lord and his church.
What would you add to the list? There’s less than 100 days before Labor Day and summer’s end. What use will you make of these glorious days?
As always I welcome your feedback and any ideas you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.