Core scripture: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
Message: Pictures of my summer so far have been a blur. Week one you would think I would lay off the gas, but I never do. Teachers are lifelong learners. It is essential we update ourselves on the latest innovations and ideas, so I went to Olathe Summer Conference. Garnering wisdom from phenomenal national presenters like Kelly Gallagher, Berit Gordon, and Mark McLeod was awesome. I took copious notes and even threw my own hat into the ring on Friday, presenting a lesson on “Connecting to the Middle Schooler.” It was exhilarating! God was pacing me that day as the last slide was clicked at 9:30 am on the nose. Looking back, I almost wish I would have dropped the mic to the gym floor. Then again, that might have jacked up the system. (Presentation attached below)
Fast forward to week two. Kids Week at our church, otherwise known as VBS (Vacation Bible School). I dabbled in something new this year, serving as a special buddy to a 5th grade special needs boy I had never met before. I was his shadow for the week. Where he went, I went, and yes, I did have to sprint on a few occasions to keep up with his enthusiasm. Midway through the first night he found out my head was fuzzy. The next day, during the entire half hour of our main stage, he rubbed my head furiously with unbridled enthusiasm. My wife shot a cute picture. We capped off the night playing “The Floor is Lava” on the playground. I became the lava monster, chasing not just him but multiple kids around the rock walls, swings, and slides. (My beautiful wife captured the priceless photo below.)
I am not sure how we are in the middle of week three, but we are. Following the craziness of Kids Week, my oldest was invited to back-to-back birthday late-night birthday parties on Saturday and Sunday—can anyone spell exhaustion?—which gave me some quality time with my youngest son. One-on-one time is all too precious. To my youngest, these days are sacred. We call them “special days.” Our trip to the pool was a blast. He dove for his shark torpedo, flew down the water slide multiple times (Daddy did too), and we played “You Can’t Catch Me” in the shallow end.” His giggles were contagious! Adorable. Finally, going home he snuggled close next to me, choosing HIS Superbook episode to watch. Not his strong-willed brother’s.
These are just three snapshots, yet more should be included. I will spare you the full details but want to mention a snippet or two. An hour on the putting clock, trying to relive the days when I actually had time to golf … an enjoyable conversation with my good friend and colleague Jordan, taking in the controlled chaos of our Kids Week carnival … a late night conversation with my wife while lying in bed in the dark, just for the sake of talking … an enjoyable hour of coffee with my church friend Ryan, getting to know him on a deeper level and agreeing to share our testimonies next week at Camp CYOKAMO during some down time … priceless. All of these moments are invaluable, and I cannot wait to see the moments yet to come.
If you were to create a photo album of your summer so far, what pictures would decorate the pages? The month of June is always a blur. Before you know it, you will be barbecuing on the 4th of July wondering where the days went. Refuse to take this summer for granted. Live by the Latin sentiment “carpe diem.” Seize the day! Or as Robin Williams whispers over the shoulders of his students in Dead Poet’s Society, “Make your lives extraordinary.” James 4:14 says, “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” Do not let that vapor puff away without leaving your mark on the summer of 2018. Savor every second of it.
Challenge: How will you make use of each second you are blessed with this summer? Get out a pencil and paper. Write the words “Summer Bucket List” at the top. Close your eyes and pray for God’s wisdom to come upon you, and let that communication from the Lord to flow out. (Two years ago I published a blog titled “Summer Bucket List.” Its content may be helpful in creating this list, so here is the link: https://theteachersdevotional.com/2016/06/12/summer-bucket-list/.)
Song application: “Till the Day I Die” by TobyMac (my boys’ new favorite song!)
‘Til the wheels fall off
‘Til the spotlight fades
I will lift your banner high
I will lift your banner high
And til the walls crash in
For the rest of my days
I’ll lay it all on the line
‘Til the day I
‘Til the day I die
‘Til the end of the line
‘Til the day I die
It’s Your name I’ll glorify
Cinema application: My favorite teaching movie of all time is Dead Poet’s Society. Though I warn the sensitive Christian eye to a few scenes of high school boys expressing their hormones, not to mention a difficult theme involving death near the end, this movie is sure to inspire you. Check out the carpe diem scene below:
Journal/Accountability: Journal or talk with a trusted Christian friend about productive ways you could spend your summer.
Quote: “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” by Robert Herrick (1591 – 1674)
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
Bible story: Read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. What talent do you have that you could polish this summer? How would God want you to spend that extra time off? Do not worry. Sometimes God will tell you it is okay to put your feet up on the couch for a half hour! Especially when your almost 42-year-old back is aching.
Prayer: Lord, allow my summer to not be mine but instead Yours. Guide my every step to glorify You and all You stand for. Amen.