Summer is approaching and many of you will find time to relax on the beach or hang out by the campfire and be outdoors. Rest and relaxation are very important in our hectic and stressed world. I would also like to suggest some things that can be relaxing not only for your body but also for your soul in the summer.
One of the things we can do is restore our relationships. Perhaps this is a time to restore and strengthen your relationships with your spouse, family, or friends. Jesus instructed us to “love one another”. John 15: 12-13 says, “This is my commandment that you love one another as I loved you. Nobody has a greater love than giving up your life for your friends. ”Pool parties, barbecues, and sitting around the campfire offer space for love for those around you, be it family, loved ones or friends.
Another restorative practice would be to become familiar with the Bible again. Perhaps it has been a long time since you read the Bible. Or maybe it is only on rare occasions that you read the Bible. Perhaps you read a lot because you are a student and yet it never includes the Bible. Now that you may have a little more free time, why not devote some of your time to Bible reading? Perhaps you are reading your Bible at your own pace. Or consider becoming part of a summer Bible study. This is a great way to learn about Jesus and Christianity, or, as you follow Jesus, to grow in your love for Him. The Bible was given to us by God through certain authors and it shows us His will for our lives.
Writer Scot McKnight writes in his book “Following King Jesus”: “A relational approach … focuses on the Bible as God’s written communication with us. The Bible is like a spoken message or letter from God to God’s people, not dissimilar to the words we speak or write to convey something to someone we love. “
How do you see the Bible? What is your relationship with the Bible? Reading the Bible can seem difficult for some. If we think of the Bible as loving words from someone who cares deeply about us, we may find more rejuvenation as we read our Bibles. Psalm 119: 9-10 says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to your word. With all my heart I have sought you; do not let me stray from your commandments.”
Another restorative practice might be relearning how to pray. If your habit is only to pray on Sundays, or if you are worried about a problem, you may be able to make prayer a daily habit. Summer can be a time to renew your heart and soul.
Rev. Howard Anderson is the pastor of Hunters Ridge Community Church in Hutchinson.