It would be easy for us to simply fill up a summer with meaningless activity, but I believe that the summers are meant for healing, growing, and preparing for what is ahead. May the Spirit be in all that we do.

This how my friend Chloe, who works for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, closed a recent e-mail message. It made me think about my own perceptions of summer, especially recently, as heat and humidity levels have been almost beyond bearable. A friend recently confided, “I feel guilty for wanting summer to be over already. We’re not even halfway through July, but this weather is getting on my nerves!”

Heat, humidity, air conditioning and global warming aside, I can relate to this sentiment. Summer is not my favorite season, but as with all seasons, it has its place. There is a more relaxed feel, which I like. Even though I am no longer intrinsically tied to an academic calendar, this can still be felt in other areas.

TV schedules: reruns.

Vacation schedules: it’s not likely that the office will be at full capacity again until after Labor Day.

Work schedules: not so much. In some ways, I feel like my workload becomes a little heavier over the summer, as we in CCO headquarters work to gather and update information, reflecting which staff have departed, which staff are coming on board, whose job titles have changed, and so on. Lots of transition. My world is all about Web updates this month.

I am looking forward to my own vacation getaways, coming up soon. This weekend, it’s a long-awaited family reunion, for which I only have to travel 40 miles or so. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be driving to eastern Pennsylvania, western Virginia (not to be confused with West Virginia), and western New York to spend time with different groups of friends. As relaxing and enjoyable as those times will be, they will undoubtedly be tiring as well. All that driving!

I believe that the summers are meant for healing, growing, and preparing for what is ahead.

It seems to me that it takes a bit of intentionality for the healing, growing and preparing to take place. I find myself longing for sweater weather, if not for shorter days. Maybe it’s because I was born in September that I love that month so much, with its paradoxical mixture of new beginnings and returns to comforting routine.

Perhaps I should resist living for the future long enough to allow space to heal, grow and prepare.

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