When I was younger, I was probably like every other kid, counting down the days left in school until summer vacation. Not having to go to school meant my friends and I could actually do stuff during the day. I'd be away from home with my friends most days, riding our bikes, finding places we could pretend we were in the Indy 500. I had to head home as soon as the street lights came on.
Summer was also pretty fun because that was when the baseball season for me really started. I played on the high school team, but I always enjoyed the summer travel team a little more (probably because I played better). We would travel to different parts of the state, even going as far as Richmond where we got to play in a minor league ballpark. For the most part, I stayed pretty busy over the summer until the fall school year started.
As I've gotten older, and especially since I began working full-time at the church, I've started to learn to appreciate the opportunity summer gives--for rest. As the youth director at church, we are on the go with youth group from September until May, with lessons to plan, events to coordinate, and relationships to cultivate. We are on the go almost every weekend during the school year and right now, I wouldn't trade that for anything. As you may know, I have started preaching more than ever this year on Sunday mornings while still preparing lessons for Sunday nights. And for the second year, I'll be involved with leading the kids at VBS in singing and dancing, which is so much fun. But one thing I am looking forward to is rest.
I know I have a luxury that not many do, that my job slows its pace down just a little during the summer. While I will use that time for planning, study and preaching an occasional sermon, I don't have quite as much on my plate as during the school year. What that will allow me to do, though, is to slow down and reconnect with the Lord. Sometimes I just get so busy that it becomes an excuse for not spending as much time with God as I should. Do you ever have that happen? I do. And it seems like when it does happen, it's a lot easier for it to happen again and again.
So I will be using this summer to help reconnect and spend more time with the Lord. If you're having a hard time with that, then I pray you will take some time to slow down as well. Slow down, and just spend some time in His presence. I don't think there can be anything more rewarding than that.
Pastor + Youth & Media Director
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