by Rev Robert A Wendel
“There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven. A time to laugh, a time to dance, a time to be quiet and a time to speak up. It was like a dream! We were filled with laughter, and sang with joy.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4,7; Psalm 126:1-2 New Living Translation)
Suddenly comes summer. A chance to relax. Put the date book aside. Wear lighter clothes. Eat ice cream, hot dogs, watermelon, and hamburgers, maybe even some cotton candy
A time out. A planned break from our working life, perhaps an intentional relocation for days or a week or two. An opportunity to spend extra time with our children, our extended family or friends. Vacation; a chance to literally take time to slow down and “smell the roses.” Rest is a gift of God.“ (Heb. 4:9-11)
In our down time can come a gentle thought and we lift up our eyes. It might be a story of kindness, heroism or courage as we read a novel or biography lying on a sandy beach or while sitting outside our pup tent in a wooded clearing with our pages turned by an occasional breeze.
While we’re driving our automobile, we might hear the notes of a melody long forgotten, stirring up teenage feelings of days gone by or nights replaced by today’s bright sunshine.
On his vacation I clearly remember how my dad would get so much pure job from showing us kids the places where he ‘grew up’. That could have been meant to remind us that we had memories too.,
In the decades of ministry I have left, I want to promise myself to lift up my eyes to life so that I may read the guideposts along my way and not miss the important turns in the road. Now, as a community minister I will lift up my eyes to love, not close my heart to the knocking hand, the tender cry or the anxious reach.
After all, at my ordination, Dr. Asquith told me “Your ministry will be among people in low places.” Life’s narrow places, weekdays outside church walls, is where I am most needed, summer and winter!