Growing up as a teenager, I never understood the lyrics of the classic song “Summertime Blues” by The Who: “There Ain’t No Cure For The Summertime Blues . . . ”
It was right up there with this gem from Styx: “I’ve Got Too Much Time On My Hands . . .”
I’ve always struggled with the opposite – not enough time on my hands, and not needing to be cured from the Summertime Blues because there was too much to do. From childhood through adulthood – I have always loved summer (except the extreme heat and humidity). As a kid, it was the pinnacle of freedom, creativity, seeing relatives, exploration, and taking vacations. As an adult, here are three areas of purpose that I’m reminded of every time summer arrives:
- Reflect – Summer allows the space and margin to finally look back on the last several months and analyze what went right and wrong. I fortunately belong to an organization that embraces the philosophy of “Continuous Improvement.” That mindset keeps you in the rhythm of always wanting to get a little bit better in every area of your life. What went well? What was a disaster? How can I learn and grow from my successes and failures? What was good that I could possibly make great? Have I taken any risks recently? Where did I waste a lot of time? What have I wanted to read but haven’t had time for? What will I do differently when I go back to work, with my family, at my church or in my community?
- Recharge (or Refresh) Ah . . . having some time off. Whether it is a vacation or staycation, a chance to get away from the computer screen, endless emails, the cubicle, the hamster wheel of problems, and entrenched routines. I use to be very agenda and event-driven on vacations (Chevy Chase Jr.). Fortunately, my wife through the years has taught me the value of sitting on the beach – and just staring at the incoming waves for hours. Incredibly therapeutic! Summer could be a opportunity to try a new hobby, start a garden, a new sport, or develop a skill. How about going on vacation to somewhere new instead of the tried and true?
- Reconnect – Summer is the perfect time to visit family members that you haven’t seen for a while. Or spend quality time with family or friends that busyness has prevented you from. Possibly a chance to stop in on someone you know is lonely. Have that lunch or dinner with your friend need to catch up with.
There is also one key relationship that we seem to draw closer to, or drift farther away from during the summer. Our relationship with God. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the trips, “me time”, new adventures, sleeping in, sports, earning cash, etc. – and ignore the most important Person in our lives that we need to connect with. I’m a very “bottom line” type of individual – just give me the facts. Recently, I read this section in the book Moving Mountains by John Eldredge that pretty much gives the bottom line of our purpose no matter what season of the year (or life) we are in:
“The goal of human existence is union with God, an absolute union of heart, soul, mind, and strength, the union Jesus knew with his Father: “I and the Father are
one” (John 10:30)” pg. 223
Now there’s a lofty goal to pursue this summer! What greater adventure exists than knowing The Creator of the Universe wants to have a relationship with us?
I wanted to end with the lyrics to a song that perfectly wrapped up this blog in a serious and classy way. Unfortunately, the song that continues to be stuck in my head is “School’s Out For The Summer” by Alice Cooper 😦 Any suggestions? 🙂