As this is early August, I suppose it qualifies for the category, “Dog Days of Summer.” The name refers to the hot, muggy days of summer; in fact, the Romans associated such weather with the influence of Sirius, the dog star, which is high in the sky during summer days. According to dictionary.com, the expression “refers to a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.” I don’t know about you, but that definition does not, in any way, describe my summer, even in August.
Actually, I wouldn’t mind some lethargy during my summer. I say that as a joke, but there is truth to it. Not that I want to be lethargic, but I do need times of stillness. This is key, not just for summer, but for any time— make time to slow down, to be still. The Lord Jesus Christ beautifully demonstrates this. In several places in the gospels, Jesus departs from His disciples and the crowds to get alone with His Father (Mark 1:35; 6:46; Luke 6:12; 11:1). Especially in the midst of much activity, we see Jesus get away to pray as He instructs His disciples to do the same: “And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat” (Mark 6:31). Jesus knew that His disciples needed rest and the opportunity to be still, even with all that was happening. Sound familiar?
So, how are you doing with being still? Are you taking time this summer to grow closer to God in your quiet time with Him? Are you taking time to catch up on your Scripture intake? Now is the time to do that. As a start, check out “The 24-Day Reading Plan,” created by Pastor Seth Kirschner. This Bible study tool will take you right into September. (For the record, believers should be about God’s Word all year long!)
My plea to you: it’s summer, so slow down! There is still plenty of summer left. Especially during this time of year, busy people should take the opportunity to recharge and renew. We live in a region that makes it tough to do that— where everything about Long Island seems to say “hurry up!” But take time to enjoy the sheer beauty of this Island! To help with that, here’s a list of places and things to do right here.
So be intentional about slowing down. Jesus did that and He expects that of us. Go enjoy Long Island in the process!
Pastor Joe Garofalo