As I gaze out my office window on this beautiful sunny day, I can’t help but think of how much I used to love summer as a child. There’s nothing better than waking up with no school and the freedom to hang out with friends on a weeknight, go to the beach, or just spend time with family. Especially as I start a new job (which has had me behind a desk more than I could have ever imagined), I know I won’t quite have the freedom I once had, but I’m sure all of us look back and wish we appreciated that time when we did.
Summer can still be, though, a time to switch up our routine–an opportunity to refresh ourselves and break the cycle of our daily grind. Maybe we have the ability to take some time off, maybe we can get away, or maybe we just have more energy with the longer days and better weather. Whatever we do, it’s important to find ways to escape our routine a bit, so things don’t become stale. And more than that, it’s important to step back to reevaluate ourselves and see if our regular plan of life might need some adjustment.
This kind of inventory can really bear fruit in our spiritual lives. While we’re busy rushing from one obligation or activity to another, we can brush God off. But now is a time to stop and ask: Is God really at the center of my life each day?
If I do have extra time, and I don’t give any to God, is he really that important to me? This is a time when we can be honest with ourselves and evaluate what more we could be doing.
And not out of some sense of obligation! But because we’ll be less stressed, happier, and more focused if God is part of our lives all year.
So maybe this summer when we can sleep in, we still get up 5 to 10 minutes earlier for silent time in prayer, talking to God, asking Him about all that’s been happening in our lives and seeing if He thinks we’re headed in the right direction.
Maybe sitting on the beach, we pick up a good spiritual book (The Story of a Soul by St. Térèse of Lisieux, The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, or A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt are a great start). Maybe we try to get in the habit of going to Mass a little more often so we can appreciate how it’s the most important thing we could ever do. Or maybe we even have the time to start making monthly confessions, knowing once we do we’ll feel lost without them.
Let’s bring God with us on vacation this summer.
He’s good company, and we can’t go wrong with Him by our side.