Are you enjoying the Summer? With many restrictions lifted from this past year under Covid, many people are anxious to go places, now that they can more easily. I’ve heard reports from some that finding a rental car can be challenging, so planning a vacation is not always so easy. But traditionally, Summer is a time for getting out, going to ball games, taking family trips, and enjoying some of the things that life has to offer. Though most of these things are more work for parents than for kids. What are some of your favorite Summertime memories of growing up? For me, Summer always began on the last day of school, when the bus driver would treat us all to an ice cream cone at the drive-in, and we would have a waterfight on the way home. I think the waterfight was eventually canceled after things tended to get out of hand, but it did happen for several years. I also recall swimming, camping, fishing, hiking, biking, fairs and festivals, longer vacations, de-tasseling and other Summer jobs, but mostly a break from the toils of schoolwork. What enjoyment do you seek during the Summer?
I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
As an adult, Summer may not be as fun as when you were a child. Most of us still work and have other obligations to keep us busy, but try to find some fun family time in there as well. My work is much more flexible than during the school year, but there still doesn’t seem to be enough time to get everything done that I would like between the mowing, caring for kids, home improvement projects, hobbies, and keeping up on everything else I want to get done. My wife was also gone the past 5 days and leaves next week for another two weeks of military obligations, so options for vacations are more limited till later this Summer. I am getting lots of time in with the kids, or as some call it, solo parenting, but we try to find a balance of enjoyable things to do between meals. So, at this time in my life, I’ll have to live vicariously through other’s experiences. When other people are able to do things that you can’t, do you get resentful, jealous, or are you genuinely supportive of their enjoyment?
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
Do you think God wants us to have fun? Do you feel guilty or think it is sinful to enjoy things a little? If you ask anyone, there are probably limits on what is acceptable in our own eyes. Most anything can become an idol in our lives if we allow it. Finding a balance between work and play, getting the job done and resting from our labors to enjoy life, can be challenging. Hopefully, we fall somewhere within those extremes most of the time. There may be seasons in life where we must work a lot and there is little time for play, but a life of leisure and self-indulgence is not as fulfilling as people pretend it is either. Taking satisfaction in our work and enjoying the time we get to spend with family and friends is a true blessing, no matter if that looks different than your neighbor taking their once-in-a-lifetime vacation. Though it’s not good to overindulge, life is more than work, and I hope you can find satisfaction and some joy in all your toil!
This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. Ecclesiastes 5:18-19
Yours in Christ,