Summer usually shapes up for me to be a monotonous long drag. The heat is on, the days are long, and it just seems as if it will go on forever. No change in sight. Not my favorite time of the year, at all.

What I’m discovering about these long, hot, Summer days is they are the perfect backdrop to really do some introspection. Other times of the year are filled with all sorts of things that garner the majority of our attention. Very little time to do the deep hard work of looking inside ourselves to discover who we are, who God wants us to be, where we’re going, and how we’re going to get there. These are deep questions that deserve a good bit of our reflection.

Ok, get yourself a tall glass of ice tea, find yourself a comfortable chair to relax in, turn off all your electronic devices, minimize all the distractions you possibly can. Now, let’s just be. A friend of mine reminds me we are called human beings and not human doings for a reason. So for this moment, just be.

Can you feel it? As you take in some slow deep breaths with no other distraction before you, do you feel the sense of ease settling down on you? Its in this moment, you can incline your attention and ear to God.

I’ve discovered how very much I need these moments to center myself, to check myself, to align myself with God’s view of me and God’s vision for me.

There have been many, many seasons in my life where I have felt anger, resentment, disgust, betrayal, because of situations I’ve found myself in. What usually happens is I begin to feel and play the victim. Its all about me. Its all about what others have done to me, how they’ve treated me, how wronged I feel. I find it exceedingly easy to get myself into a real loop of those kinds of feelings. They do nothing for me, and actually hinder my growth and movement toward the vision God has for me. When I take moments away to delve into what I’ve gone through, I become more aware of my part in what I’ve experienced. I can begin to own the part I played, and that helps me identify who I am, but more importantly who I believe God is really calling me to be.

I have had those times were I felt lost, alone, separated, and distanced from all that I long for. My relationships with others and with God can feel sorely lacking. When I open myself to moments of looking inward, I find the places where others have been reaching out and I have not taken notice. I find those times when I felt alone, God really had never left my side.

Oftentimes when confronted with an unclear future, when I have found a block to understanding God’s plan for me, I find myself very scattered and uncertain. Its an uneasy feeling. Decisions need to be made, plans need to be enacted, and yet the way forward can seem so opaque. Once again, moments spent in God’s presence have a way of bringing it all into focus.

I happen to believe our lives are better situated, and our paths are clearer when we take the moments to be. This is where those moments to myself really begin to shine. I can’t do it while I’m multi-tasking. I can’t do it while my attention is on all that I have yet to do. I can’t do it with the tv blaring, staring at my Facebook page, or engaging in any other attention-grabbing activity. I have to set aside real time to spend with God. Not looking at the clock, not counting the seconds, minutes and hours.

I’m grateful for the long days of Summer when it seems too hot to do much of anything. What a perfect time for me to get in some real one-on-one time with the One who created me, loves me, and wants the best for me.

We live in a world that only seems to value what can be accomplished in each minute of each day. Not doing something seems like wasting time to many. I don’t believe God views it that way at all. God created us to do a great many things, but God also created us to simply be. Go ahead, stop doing and start being. I promise you, God is eagerly awaiting your company.

Your companion on the Way,

Pastor Tom

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