I know the first official day of summer is still a couple of weeks away but, my niece (who’s in college) has been on summer break for weeks, my nephews are experiencing their first day of their break while I’m writing this and, my wife (a first-grade teacher) starts her break in just one week. Technically, I don’t get a summer break in the way that everyone I’ve mentioned does but, summer has been on my mind a lot lately.
A thought that I had never had until recently, and now suddenly can’t let go of, is the idea of summer as a Sabbath season. The two are already similar in the sense that they are meant for rest. Not necessarily rest in the sense of lying down and taking a nap but, rest in the sense of relaxation, connection and renewal.
This was true when we were kids and we finished a grade level and then took about three months off before starting the next one. As adults, we already tend to fill our summers with trips, family barbecues and sticking our hands in the dirt to do some gardening or landscaping. So, why not embrace what is already right there in front of us?
When I think about the Sabbath, which I celebrate on Sundays, I think about church and spending time with family. God rested on the seventh day and so should we. But, what if we took this summer and treated it like an extended Sabbath? Obviously, most of us can’t get out of going to work. That’s out of the question. But, we can intentionally slow down. We can strive to make it a season of connecting with family and friends, growing closer to the Lord, and recharging our proverbial batteries.
When autumn rolls around, we may feel more prepared to tackle the rest of life than we have in years. Or, we could decide that a reasonable amount of Sabbath should be part of our lives seven days a week and three hundred sixty-five days a year. Either way, I, for one, am going to give it a shot.