I have a hard time relaxing and perhaps I’m not the only one.
Friends and strangers alike post that they can’t relax, they don’t take vacations, they can’t stop their minds from racing, they can’t sleep, they sleep too much, they have COVID fatigue. When we are advised simply to STOP, we chuckle. Yeah, right. Stop.
A handful of congregations are On Fire to be The Post-Pandemic Church. Yay.
And most of the rest of us are ready to take it easy this summer.
You don’t need my permission but if you’d like someone like me to suggest some new Summer Goals, here you go:
- Don’t even try to recruit fall volunteers until later this summer. We are just now reminding our vaccinated selves that we can meet people in person again. I shook someone’s hand last week without panicking.
- If you can skip the usual summer activities, do that. If they feed your soul, then by all means keep doing them. But if the thought of making Vacation Bible School happen this summer makes your head hurt, it’s okay to say “not this year.”
A wise pastor told me the other day that this fall is about Soaking Up God’s Love. Their church is not going to kick off forty new things in September. They are not initiating plans to create new relationships with neighbors in Malawi or Turkey. They are not going to rush that staff search.
Instead they’re going to meet over comfort food and share stories: Did God feel close by or faraway during COVID? And by the way, you are awesome.
God loves us beyond all telling. Jesus is different from all the cable hosts and politicians and mean people out there. Who is God and just how much does God treasure us? Let’s soak that up.
My Dad always responded to our hanging-wringing about difficult people with these words: Just love them. Don’t demonize them. Don’t complain about them. Don’t stress about them. Just love them – preferably seeing them as Jesus sees them.
Take a deep breath. Feed somebody your best mac and cheese recipe. Tell them that you love the way they _____. Say how much your appreciate them. Bolster your Please and Thank You skills. Smile at the cashier. Go to the party. Make the phone call to Aunt Betty.
Don’t be judge-y. Give people a break. Take a leisurely walk in a lovely place.
Soak up God’s love and – as simply as possible – be the Church.