“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
This time of the year we approach the end of the school year for most students and that means a change in the daily/weekly routine for their families. Even families without children in school take breaks from their normal schedule to get away for a summer vacation. The Dean family is planning to do so as well.
Times like these can allow families much needed rest and a chance to catch up with each other after a busy year of school and work. We may take advantage of the time off to read good books, catch up on sleep, and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. God has built a rhythm of rest into our week called the Sabbath. It underscores our need as creatures to be recharged physically, emotionally, and (most importantly!) spiritually.
I’m reminded that when our regular schedule and routine changes it’s easy to allow some important things to slip through the cracks in our calendar. It’s been my experience that we tend to waste time when we have time to waste. In the course of the year when we’re on a set work and school schedule we stay organized so as not to neglect important things. But in the summertime, when “the livin’ is easy,” we can get a little sloppy in our habits allowing some unhealthy practices to slip in.
In light of that, let me encourage you during these summer months to not neglect some important things:
1. Don’t neglect your time alone with God. I know in my own life that if I am to give adequate time to my fellowship with God I have to have a set time with God … an appointment, if you will. I know how the rest of my day will go, and if I don’t make time for it in the morning, it will likely not happen later in the busy day. When our schedules change, we can easily drop that very important appointment from our regular routine.
2. Don’t neglect your mind. With more leisure time on our hands we may be tempted to fill our minds with unhealthy thoughts and ideas through reading or other forms of media. I challenge you to be wise in your choice of things you read and watch. I encourage you to read Christian biographies of great men and women of faith. Provide opportunities for your children to do the same. A summer in front of the television playing video games is probably not the most God-honoring way to spend a summer.
3. Don’t neglect your body. Just like schedules, diets and exercise routines are easily broken in the summer time. Healthy habits of eating and exercise will keep you living on the wise side of life when there are so many unwise temptations before us.
4. Don’t neglect church attendance. The gathering with God’s people each week is an important spiritual anchor. When that anchor is pulled up, we can easily drift away from the Lord. Even on vacations it’s good for families to attend church wherever they are visiting. It’s a good way see how God is working in other places, and to appreciate what God is doing in your own church.
5. Don’t neglect your offerings to God. Like schedules and diets, budgets are also broken during times of leisure. Our giving to God’s work is part of our discipleship and our worship. Make sure your giving to God’s work through your local church remains a priority.
Have a Christ-honoring, life-restoring summer!