Core scripture: “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is.” (Psalm 39:4)
Message: I have this problem. It is called the couch. The couch is so welcoming after lunch. It lures me in, whispering. Then, as I walk in its general direction, it sucks me in like a vacuum. I mold to its comfy crevasses. The couch and I become one. Not much good ever happens there. A little bit of Netflix. Checking e-mail. Meaningless YouTube videos. A little light reading maybe. And if the mood strikes me, I close my eyes and get some rest.
Now don’t get me wrong. Summer is a lot about resting up, recharging, and rejuvenating. But it is also about being productive. Getting projects done. Seeing old friends. Making some memories with your family. Discovering something new about yourself. Finding the right mix between rest and activity is never easy, but you can encounter God each day through prayer to seek His wisdom on how to best utilize your time.
So, let’s get real here. What could you be doing this summer? Here are 20 applicable ideas on how to live purposefully this summer.
- Write a letter to someone special. I need to write my Great Auntie Martha. She’s the last of my grandmother’s sisters still alive, and she savors the written word.
- Sign up for Pureflix. It is like a Christian Neflix, and right now they are offering a one-month free trial. What are you waiting for? Sign up now!
- Take a prayer walk out in nature. Or just find a scenic secret place and pray there. Give TACOS a shot. You pray for Thanksgiving, Adoration, Confession, Others, and Self.
- Read a Christian book. Pick a topic or author that excites you. I am going to try to dive into C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity.
- Play a round of golf with a good friend. Don’t take a cart. Walk it. Breathe in the nature around you. Listen to the birds.
- Watch something inspiring on YouTube. Check out “Lion of Judah” or “Above Inspiration.” They put out tons of videos, splicing powerful sermons together with thoughts that will provoke greatness.
- Go serve somewhere special. Our family has savored time together volunteering at Always and Furever this summer. Pick something you can passionately give your heart to.
- Have a picnic. Nothing beats packing up a light lunch, exploring nature, and enjoying quality time with family and friends.
- Check out the free summer concerts in your area. Our family just saw Sanctus Real and Plumb, and we cannot wait for Life 88.5’s 6th Birthday Bash to see Sidewalk Prophets, Dan Bremnes, and Jamie Kimmett.
- Visit a historical site. I might take a day trip to Fort Osage and let my boys experience a real fort from the American Frontier.
- Have a movie night on the church lawn. Get your friends and family together for a cookout and games beforehand, and as the evening cools, project the movie onto a large screen.
- Do something nice for someone elderly. Physical labor may be difficult for them. Cut their grass. Do some gardening for them. Or simply enjoy conversation and ask them to tell stories.
- Have a unique sleepover. My seven-year-old son and I just had a sleepover at the dog barn we volunteer at. Tents and sleeping bags can be set up anywhere!
- Write a sincere thank you letter to a local business that you appreciate. Use names of employees, and be specific in your praises, telling them what they do right.
- Pay for a stranger’s coffee. You could give them part of the gift card you are using or even leave $5.00 at a table with an anonymous note of encouragement.
- Get your family together and watch home videos from long ago. Reminisce about fun times. Laugh at how much you have grown and matured.
- Wash your car. On the driveway. Include family and/or friends. It is amazing how much more pleasure you get from a clean car when you do it yourself.
- Experiment with or research new ideas for your classroom. I want to figure out how to use Flipgrid on the iPad, and I am thinking about inserting Holes as a lit circle book.
- Invite the neighbors over for yard games after supper. Have a blast with cornhole, bocce ball, washers, or whichever game sets the mood for fun fellowship.
- Read for pleasure. Read your book in a hammock or take it to a botanical garden for the afternoon. I am deeply engrossed in a classic, Where the Red Fern Grows.
Anything sound appealing? How will you live out the remainder of your summer? It is time to savor every minute God blesses you with. Make it count. Live purposefully.
Challenge: Get a pen and paper out. Prayerfully write down a Summer Bucket List for the remainder of your summer, and begin putting activities on your calendar. The time is fleeting! Summer will be over before you know it.
Song application: “Dream Small” by Josh Wilson
Don’t bother like you’ve gotta do it all
Just let Jesus use you where you are
One day at a time
Loving God and others as yourself
Find little ways where only you can help
With His great love
A tiny rock can make a giant fall
Prayer: Lord, guide me in finding the right mix of relaxing and being productive this summer. Help me invest time where You need me most. Amen.