Len Browning: Find God in summer, and share with others
Summer in Northwest Colorado always brings with it a plethora of activity. Barbecues to enjoy, friends to visit, sights to see, vacations to take, wood to whittle, outdoor concerts and fireworks to experience, youth sports to follow, adult softball to play, swimming pools and water parks to play at, camping, fishing and hiking to engage in, growing season activity to get to before winter, home remodel and up-keep to get done, baseball, hotdogs and apple pie – in that order, and too numerous other goings-on to mention.
Life is full, and for the most part, I would not have it any other way. God has shown Himself to us in the world in which we live in, and our distinctiveness as human beings.
In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul tells us that God has made Himself evident in creation. His divine nature, invisible attributes and eternal power have been clearly seen and understood through what has been made. Mankind really is without excuse and cannot say, “There is no God.”
What distinguishes us from the animal kingdom is not our ability to love or reason; rather, we are distinct in our origin. We are told that God originally created man in His image and likeness. All that God created was good until He formed human beings. After the creation of Adam and Eve, God surveyed His handiwork and said it now was very good.
Summer affords us the opportunity to experience God – in others and in the natural world.
As a part of our spiritual health, we should take time to be with friends and family enjoying the world in which we live. Relationships new and old are greatly enhanced as we share ourselves with others in the activities that are only available in our short summer season.
It is a sin not to experience Freeman Reservoir, Harper’s Corner, Slater Falls, the Devil’s Causeway, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park and all other scenic opportunities that abound and are reasonably close and inexpensive enough to fit everyone’s schedule and budget. God made them for us and wants to meet us there.
Having said all that, we have a responsibility to stay connected to each other in the Christian communities to which we belong. The writer of the book of Hebrews puts it this way in his list of directive statements: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more as ye see the day approaching.”
We translate to English “forsaking,” a Greek word that means to abandon or leave for dead. When we disconnect from the Assembly of which we are a part, we desert others, and as much as it is to our detriment, it is equally devastating to a community of faith.
If you are out of town on weekends, make time to attend mid-week services. Include some from your family of faith in your summer activities. Call, e-mail or otherwise communicate with and encourage your spiritual leaders. Be creative and intentional as you explore opportunities to avoid “forsaking the assembling.”
Take time to enjoy this summer in our wonderful region, and stay connected to your family of believers as much as possible, too.
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