My ideal vacation involves a comfy couch and a stack of novels. To have the time free to spend an entire day just reading through a novel is one of my favorite things. I remember a particularly full week on Internship where I just needed a break and took a day to read the final book of the Harry Potter series. Then there was December 31 a few years ago where I actually met my New Year’s resolution to read The Hobbit, all in a Starbucks afternoon. With all of the running around and constant distractions of Internet and smart phones, to have the time and stillness just to focus on one thing is a breath of fresh air. I’ve done this also with the book of Job, and with one or two of Paul’s letters in the Bible, as well as a couple of the Apocryphal books (included in the Catholic Bible but not often in other translations, more on that in another post), not to mention reading through the entire Gospel of Mark during Holy Week and getting a feel for how the shorter episodes we get on Sunday mornings fit together.
Summer is also a time when we share stories of summers past and make new stories together. Beach time, camping trips, travel mishaps, family get-togethers, are all sorts of possibilities for exploring the world God has made within and around us. Whether its revisiting a traditional ‘every summer’ sort of place, or a brand new thing we’ve always wanted to try and finally have the resources to get to this year, summer seems a good time for living. Winter slows us down and keeps us indoors for thinking and introspection, but summer opens up wide for gardening and growth and everything seems to fly by all the more quickly, despite the days actually being longer this time of year.
Summer can also be a time of reflecting, though, especially if those we used to celebrate those annual gatherings with aren’t around any more. Do you ever get to those over-full schedules and think “What’s the point? What difference do I make? Why does this matter in the long run? What am I doing with my one precious life?” The circle comes around again, season to season, year to year, and those questions might crop up once in awhile, so we hold one another in prayer and we gather when and how we can and we live the best we know how. Living the questions grounds us in something deeper and connects us to what we need to grow even while we celebrate, and holding the balance is not always easy.
So this summer, my reading will include the usual theology and fiction, and I’m adding a book to the stack by my reading nook, called “Searching for Sunday” by Rachel Held Evans. It has gotten some good reviews and appears to ask some good questions, and I look forward to chewing on it while I travel from Senior High Camp to a worship conference in Atlanta to maybe even a weekend vacation. You are invited to read it this summer, too, and chew on it a bit, and gather to discuss it at the first Theology on Tap of the fall, probably in September or August at the Peint O Gwrw. Let’s dig a bit deeper together into what questions we have, how we live them together, and where God has connected with us in our daily lives.