The Summer Is Over
Every year at the end of August, the humidity arrives with the gentle weight of a cozy blanket, albeit a damp one that hasn’t quite dried out. It has always been my subtle reminder that summer will be over in just a few weeks. The end of summer is a ubiquitous time mourned and celebrated by students and parents respectively. On on hand the last week before returning to school means cramming as many hours at the water park, local ice-cream shop, or friends’ house as possible. And, on the other, it means packing backpacks, prepping school lunches and planning kid drop-off and pick-up routines.
This past Sunday and Monday I had the privilege of working alongside my colleagues here, at Pioneer, as we busily cleaned the church grounds, welcomed new college Freshmen and high-fived parents and Ruth Murdoch Elementary students alike. All weekend, the energy was palpable. The hurried rush to experience the last bit of the carefree summer “vibes” reverberated alongside the frenetic pace of preparation. And, on the welcome days, an air of optimistic trepidation and adventure could be felt as our students walked into their new dorm rooms or 2nd grade classrooms for the first time.
The Summer is truly over.
The very nature of time is that it moves quickly and we truly do not know how much of it we have. My wife bought me an antique hourglass that was once used by Sir Ernest Shackelton on his 1914 Antarctic expedition. (Ok, it is actually from a Hobby Lobby department store in South Bend but it looks “antique-y”) I know the hourglass holds enough sand for somewhere under 20 minutes but, aside from that I stubbornly refuse to time the slithering sand as it is suctioned downward in the most dramatic visual representation of time slipping away. The Latin poet, Virgil, once coined the phrase fugit inreparabile tempus or, time flies, irretrievable.
Long before the Poet Virgil, another Poet, nicknamed, the “Preacher” in the book of Ecclesiastes shared a similar sentiment in Ecclesiastes chapter 3.
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
And, in verse 11, the Preacher surmises
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.
Regardless of where you are at the end of the summer, whether you are celebrating or mourning; building toward you future or reflecting on your past - every day, every hour, every moment is a gift from God. And, God has made each of those moments beautiful because He will meet you in them if you let Him. Time, like the sand in my hourglass, rushes on so quickly. But, even the mundane everyday can be an incredible moment when you spend it in connection with God.
So, Yes. The summer is over. And, a new season begins and God is just waiting for you to spend it with Him in this new season.