May the Lord give you His peace!
For most of us, summer time is rapidly approaching. What a time to rejoice in rest, relaxation, friendship, and the opportunity to do things we have not been able to do in a while! Every summer, I take a few weeks to transition into the new lifestyle and try to remind myself what summer is all about. Believe it or not, there is a great spiritual and faith-filled dimension to summer time, rest, and leisure. A great challenge for all of us is to figure how to live more fully in a time where we have a break from school or work. Oftentimes when summer approaches most young people think that it is a time to be a bum, sleep all day, eat fast food all the time, stay out late, and not have a regular schedule of getting the essential things done in our lives. Trust me I have been there.
First, summer is a time to rest. After a long year of studying and working, it is nice to sit on the couch and watch a good movie. Or it is nice to lay outside, get some sun and read a good book. Also, it is a true gift to sleep in and catch up on some sleep that was sacrificed through the year. I find it so funny that people go on vacation and when they are done, and they are more tired then when they started! If we are tired at the end of our break or the end of the summer, it is definitely our fault.
True rest comes from not only from sleeping in or lounging around, it comes for what we do with the down time. Playing video games all day is not restful. Watching TV all day is not restful. Engaging in something that provides your body with rest as well as your mind and spirit is key as well. Read a good book, one that inspires you or is thought provoking. Schedule time to pray everyday and rest in the silence and presence of the Lord. One of the greatest gifts of the summer can be to find more time to be silent with the Lord and reduce the noisiness of our lives. I don’t know about you but my life sure is noisy at times and a break it so nice to get some alone time and truly rest with things that truly renew my mind and spirit.
Secondly, summer is a time for friendship. Just last night I called a married couple up who are friends of mine and said I was coming over to spend some quality and carefree time with them. We didn’t have plans, we didn’t have a schedule, and we talked and laughed for hours. I left renewed and rejoiced in the gift of the summer, having more time to hangout and be with people whom I love. Take some time with your friends this summer. Rejoice in the gift of good conversation, quality time spend together, and just being in each other’s presence. I am a big advocate of not having to go out and plan big parties. Just invite a few friends over and be with each other. What a gift that the summertime can give.
Lastly, summer is a time for recreation. Play golf. Go swimming. Hike up a mountain. Or play pickup basketball games in the neighborhood. During the year we sometimes forget to exercise or how fun recreation can be after a long day or school year. This summer, be active, and see that a renewal of our minds, hearts, and spirit will come along with a little sweat, hard work, and partaking in things we enjoy. Do the things that excite you, make your smile, and that are most importantly fun. The summer is a time for fun, and I trust none of you will have a problem with that.
Solid rest, true friendship and fun-filled recreation are great goals for the summer. Let us pray about our summer and ask the Lord to truly make it a time of renewal and excitement. I don’t know about you, but it is only been a week and I am loving every minute of it. I pray that you feel the same way.
God Bless You,
* Catholic News Agency columns are opinion and do not necessarily express the perspective of the agency.