FENTON, MI - How is your summer going? American summers are made for adventures! Summers are times to reset and reinvent. I saw some of life's greatest changes occur during the hazy days of summer. Elementary school crushes cooled off during summertime. Anna was my first crush when I was in Kindergarten. She had dark wavy hair. She lived only 4 blocks from my home, but back then my parents wouldn't let me cross the streets by myself to visit with Anna. There was no way I was going to ask my mom to walk me to Anna's house. So, when first grade started in September, Anna had lost interest in me.
During eighth grade, I was dumbfounded at how my classmates turned into "men" during the summer. You know what I'm talking about. They grew mustaches overnight. Their voices went deep without cracking. If I remember correctly, when I answered our home telephone during eighth and ninth grade everyone assumed I was my mother by the sound of my voice. It was an agonizing experience for a teenage boy. High school held some of the greatest changes: part-time jobs, driver's training, driving permits, followed by the ever-coveted driver's license. Relationships changed who I was. I moved from crushes, dating, to finding true love. Interactions shaped my view of the world and other people. Summer was a time of change.
Here we are at midsummer. How are your changes going? Is it an adjustment in attitude? Are you focusing on altering some actions in your life? Have you realized that your affections have been misplaced? Is the pursuit of some ambition, within your reach, leaving you empty? Try something bold while you still have the opportunity. Half of the summer still remains. Reset or reinvent yourself. Be intentional. Be specific. Maybe it would be best to take some baby steps by trying to find out what God wants you to do. Here are some summer suggestions:
Go solo. Plan a short interval where you are on your own. Disconnect. Turn off media. Silence social media. Tell your friends and family that you're going to be fine, but you're going off the grid for a few days. Assure them that you will resurface in 3-5 days. Reflect. Read meaningful words. Talk less. Walk the days slowly in an unusual setting. Rediscover the voice of God again.
Go team. Set-up a new experience with 4-5 friends or family members. Initiate the conversation and suggest, "Let's do something unusual this summer." You don't have to be in control. Facilitate the fun. Often times my best times weren't because of what I did, it was all about who was included in what I was doing. Remodel a run down something for a neighbor. Take part in a cause. Start and finish something within 2-4 days. The achievement will create a new feeling.
Go experimental. Try something new. Ask someone to give you a chance as a volunteer for the remaining weeks of summer. Sweep the sidewalk or floor for a nearby store owner. Mow a neighbor's lawn. Teach a class for someone. Write an article. Take a class. Take someone's task on your shoulders and give them a summer's rest. You might find that you like what you're doing. Don't let routines turn into ruts that rot your life. Summers are times to reset and reinvent.
Go mission. Last month, we kicked off "Send Me Michigan Summer Missions." On this website, you will find a list of churches inviting you to come as a short-term volunteer, (click here). Look at the opportunities. Look at the places. Look at the need. Select one. Call the contact. Make your plans. Events can change your life.
After you make it through your summer change, and you want to share it with someone, I would be glad to listen. Call me (734) 770-0608 or write me firstname.lastname@example.org. I will celebrate with you. Joshua 1:9 says, "Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go," (NLT).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tony Lynn is the State Director of Missions for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before coming on staff at the BSCM, Tony served as lead pastor for more than six years at Crosspoint Church in Monroe, Michigan. He and his wife, Jamie, also served with the International Mission Board in Africa and in Europe.