(From CR Newsletter, August 2009)
As a child nothing thrilled me more than school being out for summer. Conversely nothing brought on more terror than the beginning of the school year. And so, August for me was a mix of the ecstasy of summer and the dread of a new school year just on the horizon. It was the bridge between heaven and hell.
The greatness of summer was the idea of being on vacation. It was the getting away from accountability and school work. Summer meant good times. As an adult I have learned a very valuable lesson about good times and that is that I need to enjoy them but at the same time be careful in them.
The warning God gives concerning good times (recorded in Deuteronomy 6) is that these are the times when we tend to forget the Lord. Rough times bring us to our knees. Rough times are when we tend to be more sensitive to sin. Good times are when we get carefree with sin and forget about the pain the proud heart brings. As a kid it was during the structured school years that I was on my p's and q's, but with summer came an aimlessness and carelessness that, carrying into adulthood, set the stage for me using drugs, indulging in promiscuity, and having so much idle time that I was bound to get into all sorts of trouble.
This August I implore you: don't take a vacation from recovery of doing what's right, but instead use your freedom in Christ to do good. Visit the ocean and reflect on God. Read a book you are too busy or lazy to do during the rest of the year. Make more recovery meetings not less. Instead of doing what so many of us did during summers gone by (forget half the stuff we learned in school during the year) use it to learn about issues you suspect are important but never get in depth with.
I recently took this renewed mindset about summer and decided to apply it by going on vacation to Colonial Williamsburg. I chose this site because I not only wanted to get away, but I wanted it to be a time for my whole family to learn about history in a fun way. The trip made me appreciate God's providence and the beauty of the freedoms and rights he has bestowed on us. The trip was my way of incorporating learning and vacationing. A sort of schooling disguised as playing. It turned out to be the best vacation we had ever been on and we all thought we'd like to make it an annual tradition. A disciple is a student. Don't allow yourself to lose your learners heart. Truth, about all things, is our responsibility to seek out--in season and out of season.