"Hear what coming?" "Summer! It is so close that you can hear it! Graduations! Lawn mowers! Weed eaters! Birds singing! Thunderstorms! Mosquitoes buzzing! Fore!"

Isn't it amazing?! Only one collective sigh of rejoicing is greater than the sigh heard when summer arrives and school is out. It is the collective sigh of rejoicing when summer is over and school begins.

January's resolutions are history. February's good intentions are mere memories. March's planning fell apart. April's dreams are fuzzy. May's ambitions are fading. Summer is here! And that means? Anything a person wants it to mean!

Have you noticed how easily mild June's adventuresome ideas become hot August's grueling slavery? "David, don't distract us! Summer is coming! Time for recreation and 'relaxed' schedules!" And by August we all desperately search for relief from all "the fun we are having." Oh, the agony of having to choose between rest and fun!

Which is the healthy philosophy? Philosophy one: "Nothing should interfere with our pursuit of fun!" Philosophy two: "Nothing should interfere with our relationship with God!" Which philosophy lives in your heart and mind? your family's?

Healthy family fun times wonderfully bless family relationships (in any season). The togetherness benefits are real and important. While those benefits are genuine, they also are short term. Nurturing a living relationship with God also produces real, important blessings. These genuine benefits are eternal.

Summer creates some marvelous opportunities for spiritual family growth and for personal spiritual development. It also creates countless seasonal opportunities to assault and damage us spiritually. In all your summer activities, travels, and involvement, keep this simple objective: "When summer ends, my family and I will be spiritually stronger and more mature than when summer began."

Many of our college aged adults will return home for the summer. We invite them to be a part of our young adult classes. They will "fit in" these groups well. On Sunday mornings I will teach "Building a Healthy Faith." On Wednesday evening Buster Herren will direct a discussion based on "That the World May Know."

Above all else, make this summer a time that brings you closer to God and Christ. Make Bible classes a family affair! Make Bible study and prayer a family affair!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 23 May 1999

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