Everywhere I look I see signs of summer.

Green grass.
Sun shining.
Birds soaring.
Bees buzzing.
Kites flying.

I also see other signs of summer.

Tent Trailers.
Boats.
Sports cars.
Motor homes.
Sea-Doos.

And still yet, there are other signs of summer.

Pinterest buzzing with “essential must-have” outfits.
Magazine covers buzzing with “essential must-have” recipes.
YouTube buzzing with “essential must-have” beauty looks.
Facebook buzzing with “essential must-have” vacations.

Let me clarify that I’m not bashing any of these season highlights. I get it. Truly, I do. Winter has been extremely long this year and we finally feel like we’ve been let out of prison. So let’s make the most of it, right? Right! I love summer! Buzz away! Bring on BBQ’d corn, baby!

But…

First. Define “essential”.

Doing and being and participating and achieving and having and traveling are not the only things that make summer special. The gift of nature itself is one of God’s greatest essentials. It’s one of his greatest gifts to us. I dare you to pause this season to notice and appreciate…

…the grass growing…
…the sun shining…
…the birds soaring…
…the clouds floating…
…the bees buzzing…
…the flowers blooming…
…the wind blowing…

When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.

~Luke 21:30

Second. Be wise about the “must-have” mentality.

The priceless beauty of the seasons we journey are found in the people we journey them with.

A boat only comes out in summer, but your friends will be there when the boat goes away for winter. Relationships are far more important than the “must-have” toys of any season. Besides, what’s a tent trailer if you don’t have people to enjoy it with? What’s a boat if you don’t have friends? What’s a BBQ if you can’t use it to cook a delicious meal for people you love?

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

~Philippians 2:3-4

Third. Summer is not just a season, it’s a way of life.

For some people this isn’t a very “warm” time of year. But that’s not usually discussed on Pinterest, or featured on the front cover of a magazine, or the ideal topic for uplifting dinner conversation, now is it? “This Year’s Summer Essential – Hang Out With Sad People.” Please hear me when I say I’m NOT saying you can’t enjoy this wonderful season. Do it! Get your tan on! Tell that lounge chair that you and it have work to do! But why not BE the warmth while enjoying it?

  • Have your neighbours over for a BBQ.
  • Invite the neighbour kids over for a popsicle.
  • Talk with people at the park.
  • Smile.
  • Engage in conversation with people on the street now that everyone has emerged from their caves.
  • Walk around your neighbourhood and actually pray for it.
  • Host a picnic for someone who has been on your heart.

I’m challenging you to BE the ray of sunshine for people. BE their dose of fresh air. BE the warmth to their day. BE a flower garden and bloom where you are planted.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

~Matthew 5:16

Free 7-Day ebook

Making Space

Carving Out Time For God In The Midst Of Your Busy Life

With a million things to do and not enough hours in the day to get it done, it's easy to zone out and slip into autopilot in order to survive. But perhaps life is not about adding more things to your already lengthy list, but rather, about pausing in the midst of it all to consider if what you're doing is really important.