The summer may be nearly over but I decided not to be only a visitor this summer and to enter the season as if the quality of my life depended on it. Our everyday life has challenges, so at times we may feel that we need a deeper restoration. Earlier in the year that’s exactly what I felt, but I was not sure if a dream of a longer summer holiday would be possible.
I don’t know how good you are in looking after your own needs, but I needed a push and an encouragement in order to explore the options. Thankfully it all worked out and I am just back from the extended leave over the summer.
I went to Malta for some of it and enjoyed the beauty and the sunshine, but I let it penetrate my soul too. I am always grateful for holidays in sunshine and near the beach, but summer can be so much more. It can also be an opportunity for deep inner renewal where we let God bring the summer into our heart and soul.
There are benefits of merely enjoying the summer externally, like a visitor to its chambers. But it is much more beneficial to internalise some of its qualities, to store it within in the recesses of our being.
We can take in the peace that inner rest brings and integrate it in the centre of our soul, as a gift from God. It is like finding our centre-point and grounding ourself in such a way that we can weather life’s challenges when they come. Whatever was restoring over the last few months, whatever life-giving, healing, or even fun, is what we can internalise and let it nourish us in the seasons to come. It is good to be attentive to where God was present in our days – in smaller or bigger things, because those encounters with Jesus in daily life is what heal us. When we allow the blessings of summer to touch our soul, the summer has fulfilled its purpose much more fully than when we allow it to only touch us on the outside. It is as if deciding not only to be a visitor in the season of summer, but to be a host and welcome the summer inside our flesh and bones.
September leads us towards a time of harvest. While we are grateful for the fruits that the land gives us, we can also gather the fruits that the Lord gave us over the summer and over this last year. We can ponder on those fruits in thanksgiving and take them as a strength for the season of life that is ahead of us.
May God bless you with the eternal summer of His love.
Dr Iva Beranek is the Ministry Facilitator for the CMH: Ireland