SVdP Reflection – July 2017

If we look at the definition of summer, one of its meanings would describe this season as “a time of fulfillment”. It is a time to witness and enjoy the presence of god through a gentle breeze, a turbulent storm, or as the temperature has testified, some very warm days.

You know, summer seemed younger when we were young. Summers were more fun then, maybe because life was more fun. There was swimming, riding our bikes all day long, hanging out with friends, and having to come home only to eat, sleep, or maybe when it rained. It seems that the older we become, we have to work at catching summer lest it slip through our hands like a hard ball grounder through our glove in the field of our soul. Adult summers are less fun than kid summers. Yet each year summer does come back to life, and life does come back to summer. Summer allows us time. The days are longer, the temperatures are warmer, and the earth’s treasures are nurtured from their spring birth. Summer can break the bonds of logic and allow us to enter into the beauty of god’s creation. It can be a time to let loose of the inhibitions that the other three seasons seem to protect. These short three months invites us to play and relax.

to become mature and developing disciples of Jesus’ demand we take time to rest and enjoy the fruits of god’s creation. Most of our days are filled with busy work and activity. We meet ourselves coming and going in every direction. Some of that is placed upon us by life and circumstances beyond our control, some we place on ourselves to keep our esteems highly recognized. Playfulness, watching the sun rise and set, and savoring the moments in between may be less stressful, but we say it won’t pay the bills, keep the home and property in order, or secure our futures. Workaholism and activity addictions leave us with the temptation that we have plateaued if we do and get “more” done. You know, the Christian life blesses human labor and endorses its dignity, but work that is balanced with leisure and recreation. Without that balance we are not much different than robots who go wherever led. Our cultural value of busyness proves that out.

One final thought. Some years ago our grandmother was visited by one of her 14 grandsons. I asked her if she could, what she would do different in her 99 years of life. Grandma said, “John, I would use my good dishes more and wear my best clothes not just on Sunday.” We, as faithful Vincentians, need to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. In doing this, our ministry of outreach and service will be beneficial to all we meet and give honor and glory to God.