Today is May 1st, or as some like to happily call it, MAY DAY! May Day has roots in pagan festivities, but like other holidays, was later Christianized and then today, secularized. European cultures celebrated May Day as the dawn of summer. Festivities included dancing around a May Pole and crowning a May Queen with a garland of flowers. Later, May Day became associated with workers as this would be the day the seeding of crops was complete, so farmers could take a day off. (I'm not sure about you, but I don't think farmers take days off.) In our culture today, it is nothing more than looking to the calendar and noting that today is May 1st, just like any other day.
When I look at the calendar today, I do more than note that it is May 1st. My perusal includes a gasp for air because the realization that summer will soon be upon us has hit me full-force! 4 Weeks until our first camp of the summer season: Eighter's Camp! 5 Weeks until Vacation Bible School! 6 Weeks until our Heifer Ranch Mission Trip! 8 Weeks until our Puerto Rico Mission Trip! And ONLY 13 Weeks until school starts in the Fall!
You may find it hard to comprehend, but it will all be over just like that <Insert Finger Snap Here>. Summer vacation will become that distant sigh on our lips when we're driving in to work one rainy Monday morning. You'll find yourself longing to hear an ocean's waves crashing against a sandy shore. The tans will fade, the warm weather clothes will be shoved to the back of our closets and pedicures will become fewer and farther in between.
BUT WAIT! Not so fast! We have to get through the summer-time festivities first. Some of us have already begun our hectic summer schedules even though school is still in session and the calendar only declares itself to be May 1st. I see it in the Sunday School classes on Sunday mornings. I look around our sanctuary during worship services and find glimpses of it in a few empty pews. I witness it in occasional youth meetings when a few faces are missing. Don't skip out on us so soon!
I urge each of you in the days, weeks and months ahead (that little bit of time we still have left) to slow down and be mindful of the fact that there are still so many wonderful things happening in the life of the church. Better still, be mindful of your worship life throughout the summer activities. There was once a time when summer meant things slowed down: kids slept in, hours were spent at the pool, creek or lake, and Sundays were days of rest–Sunday School, worship and then lunch and a nap. I know those days are long gone, no matter how much we miss them. But, they don't have to be gone forever–take time this summer to attend to the spirit. Enjoy the vacations, the weekends away, the ball games and barbeques. But between all these activities take moments to enjoy the worship experiences offered here, your own church, or even a congregation near the places you visit this summer. Take moments of Sabbath away from the flurry of life to encounter God through prayer, song and preached word. Join us on Sunday mornings for moments to breathe in the spirit, to be still and know that God is here–awaiting for OUR awareness of this relationship…waiting to begin our "Soul Restoration."