“These Summer months!” July especially seems to me to be the month where summer really gets into full swing. With Faith Formation, 1st Communions, Confirmation, Bible Studies, Baccalaureates, Graduation parties, VBS, even our Parish Councils and Finance Committees all behind us and taken their course, we are now all taking a well-deserved break! Our weekend liturgies are even more sedate these days as most of choir members and musicians are also taking a rest. Summer is for being outside, relaxing more and slowing down a bit. As a pastor I enjoy this time of less meetings these days and nights and more time on the bike trail, on a golf course or wetting a fishing line on a lake!
Now, with the Fourth of July Celebrations this past week and a shift in our activities, there is the temptation to let our commitment to God or going to church to also relax and get lost in our summer events. This is not so good. Despite our need for a change of pace, giving up on our prayer or thanking God weekly at Mass can have detrimental effects. As a People of God we should always take time to thank God for the many blessings we have as we enjoy time for family, time to enjoy local outdoor concerts, time for camping, time on the golf course or at the cabin on the lake. Think about it: If not for God, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to enjoy any of these things, so it’s important to pray and be a people of thanks! If we are not a People of God; we become a People of something else and eventually our center of spiritual gravity gets lost along with peace of mind and heart within our self. This is why I encourage everyone to get out and enjoy, hopefully slow down a bit, but also keep God in the picture as well!
I often hear people say to me, “Well father, isn’t it better to be on the lake thinking about God than to be at church thinking about the lake?” My response is, “If God is everywhere, why not do both? If we go to church we will better appreciate our time on the lake, and if we are on the lake we will better appreciate our time with God! Fact is, we need both to keep a balanced life!” So, here’s to our safe and wonderful summer months!