Doug Creamer: The end of Summer
We have hit that time of summer when the garden is struggling. We have been enjoying the fruits of our labor, but things are slowing down. I have pulled some crops and replanted others. In some parts of the garden the weeds were looking strong and healthy. I have been working hard the last couple of weeks to correct that problem. The squash is getting mildew and the deer have decided to pay us a visit again. It’s actually amazing that we get anything to enjoy when you consider all the battles we have to fight.
It’s also that time of year when I realize that summer is coming to an end. Next week teachers will be back getting their classrooms ready. Then the following week the students will be returning. Teachers will be reviewing guidelines and preparing materials that will help us achieve curriculum goals. In light of what is going on in our world, it seems to me that there are many lessons that are not in our curriculum that need to be taught to our returning students.
Before all that begins, I try hard to catch up with family. I’ve had lunch with each of my family members. Everyone in my family has had some good things and some bad things happening in their lives. It serves as a gentle reminder that life is not always a smooth path. There will be bumps in the road and it’s our choice if we allow those bumps to take us off course or if we will put our faith in God to help us stay on His path.
When I get to this time of year I also realize that I have missed catching up with some friends, but enjoyed catching up with others. My wife says my lunch schedule stays full over the summer. I think that is why I have put on some weight recently. It’s been great to catch up with old friends and to encourage each other while we share some laughs.
I had the great privilege of having lunch with three of my pastors. My current pastor and I are learning more about each other and the vision we share for our church. It was great to have lunch with my former pastors, too. They still have a pastor’s heart for me. They both encouraged and challenged me to a deeper walk with Christ. I shared lots of laughs with these three men. I have such great respect for them because, like me, they are fighting to live the Christian faith in an imperfect world. They have also walked through some difficult trials and proven to me that you can still press on through faith.
One of the things I will really miss in a few weeks when I am back at school is the extended quiet times I have on my front porch. I deeply enjoy spending some quiet moments in the presence of my Father. I also find myself lying awake at night asking for more of His presence in my life. I want to know Him and be known by Him.
One of the things I have been learning is about the depth of God’s love for me. I thought I had a pretty good handle on that, but have learned far more this summer. I have learned about His compassion and mercy and His deep desire to know each one of us. He has also been challenging me to see myself through His eyes. I am learning that He doesn’t see me as a sinner but as righteous, holy, and pure through the blood of Jesus. I am His son and He loves me. I still have more to learn and experience.
One thing I know is that God wants to have “lunch” with each one of us. He wants to laugh with us, encourage us, and challenge us to a deeper walk with Him. He believes in us and has great plans for our lives. He wants to hear about our dreams, challenges, successes, and failures. He wants us to see Him and ourselves through the lens of His love.
I want to encourage you to have “lunch” with the Lord. It doesn’t have to be lunch, just set aside some special time to be with Him. Listen for His voice and allow His unconditional love to wash over you and fill your heart. Allow His acceptance of you to help you heal. God’s love and desire to be with you is greater than you could ever understand. Enjoy your special time with Him.
Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org