Taking a Vacation from God?

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.

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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.

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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.

 

Photos:www.JennyWredePhotography.com

 

When Spirits are Bone-dry

This is my yard in the summer.

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And this is my yard.

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Both patches of earth are inches apart, and have access to the same water running beneath the ground. Why the difference?

Part of my yard is tapped into the underground irrigation system; the other is not.

Duh, tell me something, I don’t know, Karen.

Tell me what to do when my spirit is bone-dry.

  • How do I smile and pretend life is great when one dog-day somersaults into the next, and the horizon seems to flat line into nothingness?
  • How do I avoid feeling jaded when I strive to live right while the other guy reaps the rewards?
  • What if this is good as life gets?

Daunting questions when the spirit is dry on an August day.

By 8:00 a.m., the air is already thick as a wool blanket.

I’m parched as the squirrels that guzzle water from my birdbaths. Plants droop despite the drip lines that watered them a few hours earlier. My cat is stretched out on the warm grass, her lids half closed.

My motivation to pull weeds evaporates like the water drops clinging to my ivy. I plop on the bench swing. I need more than a glass of water or the hum of an air conditioner to chill my mood.

Stuck on Self, I need to tap into the Living Water. Lord, please evict the melancholy from the tenant.   

I know, same old Christian song and dance, right? But some things never change.

Meeting with the good Lord is the surest fix for a bone-dry spirit.

  • Not talking about flipping through Bible pages like I’m hunting for coupons.
  • Not talking about randomly pulling a verse out of context to choke down like a vitamin pill; hoping I’ll have a feel-good day.

I’m talking about camping on one passage. Laying down my burdens, and allowing God to to excavate my heart.      

Lord, you want me to become more like you and bring you praise? Then use even this…

Use my melancholy and the dog-days of life to teach me how to smile, and truly be glad in this day.

Rid me of spiritual indifference that blinds me to the Light or makes me lukewarm.

Abide/Vines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lift my chin heavenward like the ivy vines that stretch up my pine trees towards the sunlight.

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Jesus told the woman at Jacob’s well, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4)

  • Whenever the spirit is bone-dry: “Come and drink.”
  • Whenever life appears hopeless: “Come and drink.”
  • Whenever we’re sweating the small stuff: “Come and drink.”

Drink until your thirst is quenched, then drink some more.

Drink until the Living Water springs up and bubbles over into the lives around us. 

Have you come to Jesus?

Are you drinking regularly?