Ah, Summer. Even though we’ve not reached the Solstice yet, many of you are feeling the effects thereof. Others are going to very soon. For me, it means–not much difference, actually. My daily schedule is basically the same-with one exception, and that’s the lack of the looming Titanic that has to be moved aside before continuing with my day. But, with the approach and now arrival of summer, one word was in most minds:
Well, we’ve been given an extra dose of liberty maybe in the one area which is one of our singular greatest privileges in this country (namely, education), so that it feels like being conned, but really, there’s nothing much that beats not having an a-bomb hang above our heads as soon as we wake up, that will loom until properly dealt with. Sure, we have no idea what to do without it, and by the end of a few months we realize that it’s one of the most enjoyable things we’ve ever done. And what’s sad is, we easily associate being able to let go in one area with letting go in every other. The school is helpful because we are forced to wake up each morning, and consecrate the exercise of our mental powers to the Glory of God: we wake up in summer, have our hour long quiet times, and then we’re at a loss for how we are to enjoy ourselves most. Or, how to glorify God with our freedom of time, which I will say is more often the case. The obvious thing that holds itself forth is, why not use this time for the specific purpose of getting to know God better?
Unfortunately, with simplicity comes difficulty. Because my heart rises to say, “are you really daring to make such a commitment?” (here i go, talking about “making a commitment.”) Because, if that commitment is joined fast to my conscience, then it makes things hard. Trick is, this doesn’t really have to do with summer: it effects our all efforts at increasing in Him, and getting out of the ruts we dive into that let us chug along at a moderate pace as long as we keep some safe-guards up. The same feeling (you know it) that when we say, “I want to love him more at this time next year,” and then there’s that creepy sensation that says, “yes, but will that mean taxing my relationship with certain friends? Sure, it will enhance some of my friendships, but the ones that only He and I know about, and not even the other person involved: those will have to be effected, right? All my favorite activities, won’t some of them have to be foregone, not because they’re bad, but because I prefer other things by then? What if the new Iron Man movie that I’ve been looking forward to for a year has to be foregone because I’m no longer interested? (I’m getting closer to home) What if I’m less liked because my sense of humour is compromised for the sake of sobriety?”
The only thing that cost more for the Christian than the freedom of being caught up in the knowledge of God in Christ is letting go: the second one is seems easier, because it let’s you go on credit later for rewards now; the first seems harder, because it demands everything now and promises its greatest rewards after we die. The only problem with letting go is that it eventually makes you miserable.
It would almost be appropriate, if we were each of us (I’m talking to myself) to make a Journal pact with ourselves, that as long as the infinite and eternal Grace that found us will support us, we will strive to get to know Him better in every area: my word, it’s hard just saying it publicly, because it obliges every area. That’s why it may even be helpful to make a pact with friends: the blogging world is a Lioness-dominated pride, and girls are good at this sort of thing. But to declare, privately or with other, that we are going to strive to get to know Him better, and by this scale to test every activity, every circumstance, every blessing even, and treasure or dispose of it accordingly.
So, in happy summary, the freedom of summer is never more beautiful than when knowing God is everything: because, if you’re living on His sole initiative, when we’re constrained to stay away from certain things, He is our reward. And, on the other hand, and I speak even from my limited experience, there is joy unspeakable even in playing volleyball or some other physical exercise, painting and drawing, sitting under a green tree reading a delightful book like Calvin’s Institutes or Winnie the Pooh; you love nothing more than loving people in summer activities, because you love Christ; every cool breeze is something to delight in as coming from Him alone: every fish you catch with you’re friend, every opportunity to go stand and talk to people at some festival that you’d never be at otherwise, and every time you breath in the warm air before a hard thunderstorm at Ballard Park, and then run to the shelter of Starbucks: these things are all more secondary-than-secondary, and compare not to the joy of spending you’re school hours in the Word, and of going out and sharing the love of Jesus with people that don’t even seem to notice, but even they have an element of delight which only He can give them.