Beware of summer! Make more time for Jesus

It’s here the signs are all around! Summer!!! It is getting warmer or hot depending on who you talk to, the birds are singing, the sun is coming up earlier and stays out past 9 p.m., the sound of lawnmowers, gardens are being planted, graduation and wedding season has arrived, and the farmers market is open on Saturdays around the square.

Summer is here! And that means a change in plans and lifestyle, I don’t know if you think of it that way but our habits do change for almost three months this time of the year. I have watched many people pass my house while taking a lovely walk around the block, along with people riding bikes and kids outside playing. All wonderful pastimes! It starts much like a race with a loud boom and all the runners race down the track. Except it is not a starter’s pistol it’s the words Memorial Day on the calendar and with that plans with family and friends signal the race is on. Now, I don’t want to sound like I don’t appreciate a fantastic picnic the opposite is true!

When we get to summer shouldn’t there be a pause in the busyness of all that needs to be done? Isn’t that what summer break means? Are we filling these extra hours of sunshine too full? Summer typically means extra activities and that leads to extra stress.

Many people throughout the year share with me that they do not have enough time to read their bible or do devotions. I don’t know where I can find the time, then we get to a break and what do we do with it.

Our church like many others has summers filled with activities like camp and Vacation Bible School. What used to be a downtime for churches has been ramped up with more to do.

All that to say Beware of busyness! Summer break can be filled with so much. But much like any other time of the year, we do not leave enough room for Christ in our plans. We need to avoid a spiritual pause during our summer break!

Here are two suggestions to make this summer a time to become a deeper disciple of Christ, who dives into the word, prays with devotion, worships passionately, loves extravagantly, and shares the gospel. Our souls need reviving this summer. Our hearts need to balance our busyness and be still to find time to enjoy all that God has given to us.

1. Beware of busyness! Consider just how busy you really want to be during your summer “break”. Absolutely, it is good to stay busy, be productive, and make the most of your time, BUT don’t overload. Let’s be creative about the ways we prioritize our time with Jesus. How do we set aside time to listen for God’s will? Doing things that you normally couldn’t do but also allowing yourself time to do nothing is ok too. During the typical school year, we are go, go, go. We need to prioritize what we do with our time not overload it. The most important thing we can do for our families is to show that everything we do is for His honor and glory.

2. Make more time for Jesus! There is a book I read many years ago called Too Busy Not To Pray by Bill Hybels, I have taken that to heart and do my best to go to prayer at the beginning of every day before I put my feet on the ground. I have a prayer on my desk that I say every day that reminds me that I surrender my day, my agenda, and my plans into His hands so that He would order my day His way.

I encourage you this summer to beware of over-planning, beware of busyness, and make more time for Jesus!

The writer is the associate pastor at Sidney First Methodist Church in Sidney.