Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Sun Lakes
Having moved to Arizona in 2010, it wasn’t long before we learned about the five C’s of the state (copper, cotton, citrus, cattle and climate), certainly a good way to remember some of the distinctive features of our great state. With summer upon us let me suggest five R’s for an enjoyable and profitable Arizona summer.
Recognize the beauty that is all around us and give thanks to God for His stunning creation. Whether it’s a multi-hued sunset, a huge yellow moon, billowy clouds, the rugged rocks of a mountain or the crystal display of a starry night, God has signed His name across creation. His handiwork reveals His glory and majesty (Psalm 19:1).
Remember that there is purpose for your life. We are not on this earth by accident but rather for the purpose of glorifying God and fulfilling His will (Isaiah 43:7). Woody Allen (a comedian by profession) once said, “More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray that we shall have the wisdom to choose correctly.” I’m glad there’s another option! And it’s that of knowing God and His purpose for our lives.
Renew your mind and heart with a fresh focus on the promises of God in the Bible (2 Peter 1:3-4). Many people are distraught over the condition of our country and the problems of our world. But according to the Scriptures, history is heading for the day when all evil will be overthrown and brought to nothing. And all who know the risen Christ will reign under His lordship throughout eternity.
Retreat to a quiet and comfortable place. Many folks like to beat the summer heat, even if it’s just a short trip to a cooler elevation. But whether we leave town or not, it’s important to enjoy a change of pace from the routine. Jesus encouraged his disciples to do that when he said, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). Rest energizes us for the days ahead.
Reconnect with friends. The Bible says, “A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17) and it speaks of “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). We all know what it is to enjoy friendship and the encouragement and counsel that often comes from it. Perhaps there is a friend from years past with whom you could reconnect through a phone call, e-mail, or hand-written note (remember those?).
Have a great summer! Plan now to recognize, remember, renew, retreat, and reconnect.