As we head into the summer months I want to encourage you to see the summer as an opportunity to both rest and to re-invest time in just being with the Lord and with others. As the structures God uses to help us grow (Bible Studies, Community Groups, programs and ministries) wind down for the summer, and as we travel and have new routines, I have found it is easy to slip into a pattern of ignoring God without my regular routines in place. In my own life, when I seek to just indulge the body on vacation without intentionally seeking time with God, I can come to the end of a summer less rested than when I started.
Here are a few ways I have learned to rest in the summer while cultivating a renewed heart for God, and for others, as the routine changes:
1) Proactively commit vacations and free time to the Lord in prayer, asking Him to give you true rest and to "sanctify" (i.e. set apart) that time for relational, emotional, spiritual and physical rest.
2) Read a good biography of a Christian. I might recommend Unbroken (Hillenbrand), A Severe Mercy (Vanauken), Tebow, The Hiding Place (Ten Boom), Bonheoffer, Through Gates of Splendor (Elizabeth Elliot) to name a few.
3) Read The Chronicles of Narnia series and look for the gospel in every chapter.
4) Read a book of the bible straight through. How about Esther, Luke, Romans, or Hebrews?
5) Participate in our summer daily Bible reading plan. (to be launched next week, 6/10)
6) Call up a Christian friend for lunch or coffee and ask them about how God is working in their life, what they are learning, or to share their life story. (I.e. listen and ask questions!)
7) Instead of TV watching, spend time in a hobby, lounging, sleeping, or calling old friends.
8) Attend a church while on vacation and ask God to speak in a new clear fresh way.
9) Institute "family devotions" during vacation - 15 minutes around the breakfast table of a prayer, a scripture reading or reading a short devotion, followed by prayer requests and prayer. It makes all the difference for us before we "run into fun".
I know that the Drake family needs a rest this summer after a long year. My prayer for my family is the same for our church family: that we may "rest well" in the Lord this summer.
About the ResBlog
Members of staff and Vestry will be posting on the ResBlog to help us think through who we are in light of the gospel so that we might “spur one another on to love and good deeds.”