"In the torment of the
insufficiency of everything attainable,
we learn that here, in this life, all symphonies
remain unfinished." (Karl
summer season brings change for many of us.
(My apologies to those experiencing winter in the
southern hemisphere right now.) The longer hours
of daylight, the home and garden projects, the
changed routine with the kids out of
school, a long weekend or two, and
perhaps some time off work. We travel, visit
the beach, BBQ, read, and watch TV a little more
than usual. We hope to recuperate a little, and
yet many of us find ourselves restless
and fidgety ... spiritually, emotionally, and
me paraphrase a recent, helpful insight from
aren't restful creatures who occasionally get
restless, fulfilled people who occasionally grow
dissatisfied, or serene people who occasionally
slip into disquiet. On the contrary, we are
intrinsically restless, dissatisfied, and
disquieted people. We do not naturally
default into rest, satisfaction, and quiet, but
into their opposite [emphasis
off" becomes spiritually counter-productive for
many of us, not because the easier pace is
inherently bad but because rest, serenity,
and satisfaction emerge from something other than
just a changed daily schedule.
of us experience "stressful vacations" and find
that a changed routine also undermines the
intimacy of our walk with Christ. It's not the
physical heat or the financial pressures or the
lack of church programming. The "summer struggle"
arises from a place deep within us, not the
circumstances around us.
do not naturally default into rest, satisfaction,
and quiet. Our hearts typically incline the other
way. Consequently, unless we intentionally nourish
our walk with Christ, the relative quietness
of our routines simply gives opportunity for the
disquiet of our hearts to re-establish and
shall we proceed?
summer, like all summers, will fall short of our
deepest aspirations unless Christ remains our
deepest aspiration. Just as the Sabbath rest fails
to be restorative when it is simply "time off", so
multiple Sabbath rests (a summer full of them or
sprinkled with more of them than usual) will
misfire apart from the desire for His Presence and
our devotion to practicing it.
too, have house and garden projects I'd like to
accomplish, a few places I'd like to visit, some
outdoor grilling and water-splashing I'd like to
join in. Ironically, these plans will subvert my
refreshment unless I build them on a foundation of
knowing Christ. The only way to over-ride our
default setting is to desire Him above all.
as we remind each other of such basic truth, this
season will rise above our past experiences and
we'll find rest for the restless soul.