Is summer really over?
If you’re in the Labor-Day-weekend-is-the-finale-of-summer camp, the answer is yes. If you’re in the fall solstice camp, the answer is no, and I’m not sure I fully disagree with you if you are, considering the weather is still 80-90 degrees this week. I’ve noticed longer shadows and darker mornings for sure, school is back in session, and football season has begun, although you must wear shorts to a day game because it is entirely too warm to choose otherwise.
Winter is so long in the Midwest, I feel like when spring finally starts to break through, I’m more prepared to dive in, but when fall is fast approaching, while it is my favorite season, I’m still left trying to savor every drop of summer. But also at the same time, I’m only shopping for fall (although I’m really not shopping at all currently, but that’s a story for a different day), and I am v excited to start layering up. I even already attended my second football game over the weekend. I do feel like LDW marks the unofficial end of summer for me, as much as I hate to admit it, but I need to fully stretch it through Labor Day. These impending cold months are just too long to not. And is it just me or does it feel like the pumpkin spice latte arrived extra early this year?! The pool wasn’t even closed! I could’ve been sippin’ PSLs by the pool. Like let’s get real here.
All of this leafs me reflecting on this: our culture is constantly looking forward to the next thing and not enjoying the moment, the season (literal and figurative season) we’re in.
How can we be sippin’ PSLs by the pool?!
I feel like teachers and students get a bit of a free pass to begin to transition to fall, but don’t you remember the frustration following back to school shopping for all your new fall looks where it was just too unbearably hot to wear those jeans + sweaters when classes first geared up, or is that just me? Summer is too short, too good of a season, to just completely skip onto the next.
Be where you are. Bask in the long summer sun. I know I’m trying.
Unfortunately in life, and sometimes fortunately as well, we can’t just skip a season. God has called us to be where we are for a purpose.
This is two-fold:
Slow down. Look around. Seek your divine appointments. Pick your head up off your phone. Make eye contact, smile at someone in line at the market. Engage with the high schooler ringing out your groceries (if you haven’t chosen the self-checkout line) and speak life. Grab coffee for the person behind you at Starbucks. You never know what someone is walking through. You never know how your personal interaction could alter their day, their path. God has placed you in even what seems are the most trivial moments for you to be a light to someone else. Don’t hide it and don’t get distracted or you’ll miss it.
We are called to be present in the season we’re in because we need to learn. This is a tough one for me to swallow sometimes, but there is a lesson in your season. Hard, big, small, easy, there is a lesson to be learned. Sometimes you are called to wait where you are because God is still orchestrating what’s ahead of you so it can come together in His perfect timing, in the way He seems fit (which is always better than you can imagine for yourself). But sometimes you’re still in the season you’re in because He still has a lesson for you to grasp, for your character to develop, that you need to seek and find Him and rely on Him where you are. He loves and cherishes you and wants the best for you, there’s no doubt about that, but He never promised it would be easy. And I don’t know about you, but the seasons that are the hardest and most challenging are the seasons I lean in the closest, the seasons where I have grown stronger in my faith, where I have heard God’s voice and felt His presence envelop me in my darkest moments. And when I’m in the next painful, waiting, or trying season, I can look back and see how God was working, teaching, and refining me, and it’s what helps me get through the next one. He is for you not against you, and no weapon formed against you shall prosper. But sometimes we need to be in the waiting. In the quiet. In the moments where it’s still warm summer and not yet fall because there’s still sun shining and bright days where we are if we just choose to see and enjoy them.
David had to wait to be king. He was called for a purpose, against the odds, but he had to wait for his time. He had to learn and grow in his season. God used his lowly shepherding days to prepare him for shepherding a kingdom. God will use your field to lead the kingdom, but it will happen in His timing, and when you are ready. When He is ready for you. Stepping into the kingdom too early will lead to your destruction. Use your field. Enjoy your field. Be where you are and look for opportunities to serve and grow.
God always fulfills His promises. The leaves always change. Fall always comes. But summer is good, y’all.
*sips pumpkin spice latte.