Summer is Ending  

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 11

I know . . . this is a departure from my usual style of monthly devotion for the “First Impressions” newsletter, But I’ve been feeling practical these last few days and thought I would share some practical thoughts. 

Although we still have a few weeks left, summer is quickly coming to a close. It seems that every year, the pace of the world calls for the end of summer a bit earlier than the year before. When I was growing up, it was unheard of for any school to start before Labor Day. I know that in today’s world, school is starting now. Maybe you have every summer task already completed. Or, maybe you still have a few last minute tasks. Maybe you still need to get a few more school supplies for the kids or grand kids. Maybe this is the year that your son or daughter starts college and everything still is not in place. I began to think to myself, what would it look like if this summer season were to end well. 

1. The Season of Procrastination is Over. At times it seems like I have plenty of time to get all those last minute things done, however time goes by way too fast to waste time procrastinating. To avoid the stress of running around trying to get everything in record time, I’m making a list of tasks or obligations that I need to get done before (for me the official end of summer this year is Rally Day at First Lutheran) September 10. Hopefully I can stay on track with my goals. 

 

2. It is Time to Finish the Summer Tasks and Plans that I Started. When summer kicked off on Memorial Weekend, it seemed like I had all the time in the world to get my list of special projects done around the house. But as the calendar ticked off the days, my free time got crunched and I told myself I could do it later. Now I am looking at my calendar and wondering, “What was I thinking.” I still have things on my home list: 

a. Some yard projects. 

b. Garage projects. 

c. Purging clutter projects. 

I also have an extensive list of projects that I wanted to get done for the church this summer. 

It certainly is time to set a day and time that I can make working on these projects a priority. 

3. Last Minute Recharge. For most of us, vacations have come and gone, and although the memories are sweet, it may seem like that vacation was a thousand days ago. For me, it already seems like 

my internal batteries are feeling drained again. Maybe I can make a point to do something either once a day, or once a week, to help me recharge and gear up for the busy fall season. I am considering setting aside time to read, relaxing outdoors, and spending some time in prayer. Maybe I can take a day trip to the gulf, or a lake, a state park, or anywhere that will help rejuvenate my spirit and help me feel refreshed. 

4. Good Steward of the Remaining Time. It is certainly time for me to think about what is most important to me. I need to prioritize and arrange for time to enjoy the things that I want to enjoy and complete what I need to complete in the next few weeks. 

5. Keep the 3 R’s in mind: Relax, Rewind and Renew

Some time ago, I read an article that helped me to think of 3 R’s. Let me do the best that I can to share them with you. I hope that they are helpful for you as you apply them to the end of this summer season. 

RELAX: The end of summer is always busy, but it’s important to take time to relax. Whether it’s a long hot bath or a walk in the park, remember to take care of you, not only everyone else. 

REWIND: Jot down all the things that you enjoyed about summer and some of the fun moments you experienced with friends, children, family, co-workers, etc. Take time to thank God for those blessings, and to discuss them with your children so they will also remember to be thankful for the good times. 

RENEW: While summer is winding down, we can wind up our faith so that we’re ready to face the challenges and busyness that lie ahead. Get up each morning and enjoy some quiet time with God, asking Him to keep your soul quiet when life gets loud. 

Most importantly, keep Jesus in this whole process. It just may be that you will not complete everything on your list. Forgive yourself. Let the love and grace of Jesus apply to your own failings. And, keep a thankful heart for all the blessings, accomplishments, unexpected beautiful surprises and in the never failing promises that you are given by the Father through Jesus. 

God be praised! 

Pastor Tommy

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