I love and hate the summer. We pastors love it because the traditional vacation season offers a period of rest and re-creation. Who’s not for that! Churches, like most organizations, are living organisms. They breathe in predictable rhythm, inhaling…exhaling…. It’s necessary. In the summer volunteers step back from the canvas for perspective. Ministries are evaluated, buried if dead or re-tooled for greater effectiveness. It’s needed.
Of course, pastors hate it for obvious reasons. The summer brings with it lower numbers in attendance, participation and giving. Can’t blame us for that! Otherwise, we are accustomed to running at a regular, fast pace—week after week, from one “holy” day to the next, polishing off this Sunday’s sermon only to be followed by the next one. It’s what we know—it’s kind of crazy—at best. It is sometimes frantic, always busy and never finished.
There’s a NT story in which Jesus meets a man whose life had been poisoned by more than a handful of destructive spirits. At first glance it comes across as a rather weird story—quite foreign to anything we experience today. If you are any where near my age, it might take you back to the wildly popular movie The Exorcist. Our lives can actually become like that haunted man of the gospel—insane!
Life is crazy, whatever the season. I, for one, never intended to become a person as possessed and fragmented as this demoniac was. But I confess, in so many ways I have. One could argue that I just go along doing what most people do. I guess you could say I live that way—going faster and faster, doing more and more, striving for better and better…. Sound familiar? We all do it.
Of course Jesus said that “broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many” are those who travel it. The book of Proverbs includes much the same thing: “There is a way that seems right to a person, that in the end leads to destruction.”
So there’s no comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. It’s not for lack of company that I sometimes feel so burdened and weary. “Any day now…things are going to change, I say. Life won’t always be this crazy.” But tomorrow never seems to come.
Here’s for making this a good summer—one that results in greater health and wholeness. Here’s the plan—a commitment to worship God every week, a genuine effort to connect and grow in a group with other Christ followers, and a heart to serve any who may be in positions of need along the way.
My hunch is if we ever want to be free from life’s craziness, we must learn to walk Christ’s path instead of the broad road where most everyone else is going. After all, doing the same things and expecting a different result is, as you probably know, the definition of “insanity.”