Welcome, Summer

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Welcome, Summer Solstice!

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies,
I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

AH! The summer solstice is here! How do I know? I’m lathering on bottles of sunscreen, wearing flip flops and shorts and riding my bike early in the day in order to beat the heat. This week in Virginia temperatures are soaring into the 90’s. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’ll take the heat! This week, while working on my book proposal, I’ve been thinking about a very simple, yet complex, question:

  • Is it really important to spend time with God?
  • And, if so, what does “that time” look like in the busyness or should I say “distractedness” of the 21st century?

Today, I’m asking you to share your thoughts so we can all move towards authentic relationship with God. Pastor Rick Warren says it this way:

“The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions…You must begin with God.”

How do YOU begin with God?

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew [11:28]-30, MSG).

Paul knew God. Having met him face to face on the road of Damascus (Acts 9), the man known once as Saul became Paul, a fierce disciple of Jesus Christ. If Saul had remained Saul, a Jewish rabbi, we would be missing 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament and Christianity’s early expansion to the Gentiles (biblegateway.com). In his first book to the Corinthian church, Paul writes, “Therefore I urge you to imitate me” (1 Corinthians [4:16]). Every time I read those two words, “Imitate me,” I think, “Wow, could I actually tell other people to imitate me?” Last week, as I was listening and studying for my coaching certification, one of the lecturers said exactly that. “If people come to you for guidance, can you tell them to imitate you, in other words, do what you do…If you can’t, why are they coming to you for life change?” In no way were they instructing that I need to be perfect, but they were saying that I need to be an authentic follower of God who lives what she speaks. If not, how can I lead others to do what I am telling them to do? In light of that challenge, I asked myself the question I am asking you, “Is it really important to spend time with God and if it is, what does this look like on a daily basis?”

Living with a God-Consciousness

My answer: Yes. If I don’t, how will I know him? How will I know how to follow him? For me, this looks like waking up with God-consciousness (“Good morning, God. Let’s do this day together. Amen.”), reading a portion of the Scriptures, praying throughout the day as I am led by His Spirit, and having eyes to see and ears to hear the movement of the Spirit throughout the natural course of the day.

Call for Summer Soulstice 2014 Stories

What does this look like for you? I’d love your stories. In 300 words or less (with your permission I’d love to post them in my next email newsletter), share how God has met you in a special way or perhaps how you “find” or “meet” God in your day. Send them to janellrardon@gmail.com.

Right now, I’m meeting him every time I open my front door–yes, our little Carolina Wren chicks have entered the world. They are chirping all day. More on that forthcoming!