Looking out my window today I’m pondering time. We just passed the longest day of the year on Wednesday, June 21. The sun rose at 5:33am and set at 9:02pm, giving us approximately 15 and a half hours of daylight. Also known as the solstice, it marks the first official day of summer, hence the name summer solstice. School is out and many people plan summer getaway time and other outings to make it a memorable summer.
During a recent coffee break I asked the handful of people gathered to describe their “most memorable summer moment.” Their answers ranged from a summertime wedding, to birthday parties, to spending two weeks on a boat going through the Erie Canal system. Another person said his most memorable moment was meeting his wife on a nice summer day. For me, I remember summer camping trips with family and friends. We camped with a lot of people. At one point approximately 30 families made up our little traveling caravan of campers. Weekends were full of swimming, fishing, hiking and of course campfires. It was an amazing time!
Another memorable moment – which still revolves around camping trips – was when we ate together as a group. Everyone gathered around one long arrangement of picnic tables. Another area of tables was set aside with all the food on them. It was a free for all! We filled our plates and then sat down for the meal. This of course was long before the now popular “long table dinners” were an in thing. This was simply a group of friends gathered for the same reason. A camping trip where everyone got along with lots of fun as well.
It’s also worth noting it was a time when little concern was given to “wandering off”. It was a safe atmosphere where the kids were allowed to run around and have fun. We’d eat breakfast in the morning and then hear our parents say; “Have fun, stay safe and be home by dinner time!” Of course if we missed 5pm dinner time, there was no dinner! Mom would not save dinner until we got home. Dinner was at 5pm, bring your appetite. Many times during those daily outings I found myself sitting along the lake, or maybe sitting in the woods, quietly thinking. As a kid I wouldn’t call it praying, but I would definitely think about life.
Now that I’m older I must admit I love finding quiet times to pray. Now I do call it prayer. However, sometimes – when I’m honest with myself – my quiet time of prayer also includes times of thinking about life. Events in our lives ebb and flow. At times we’re so busy we hardly have time to eat. At other times, we welcome a slower pace where we can reflect and ponder our overall situation. I believe that’s one thing we can do during the summer. Even though kids are out of school and summer trips are planned, what some call the lazy days of summer, provide an opportunity to relax, think, ponder and pray.
I believe the next couple months – as we make our way through the summer of 2017 – will provide a time for everyone to experience a slower pace in life. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by life, look at the summer of 2017 as a Summer of Oasis. An oasis is defined as a fertile place in the desert where water is found. An oasis is a place to find rest and refreshment. Do you feel the need to slow down and find a watering hole? If so, I encourage you today to step back from the busyness of the day, and find refreshment at the Oasis where you can also find Living Water. When you drink of His Living Water, you will thirst no more (John 4:14).
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.