We may be in the dog days of summer, but this year’s record rains have made this season more of a wet puppy where I live. Though it’s late July, the back-to-school commercials are already saturating the airwaves. Our calendars may tell us a new year starts on January 1, but there is a “new year” feeling about early September for many of us, isn’t there?
Recently, I finished edits on my book for NavPress about the calendars that shape our lives. The working title is Everyday Eternity: How the Jewish Feasts and Christian Calendar Point Us At Something More. The book is scheduled for release next year. It will offer readers a lively devotional background look at each calendar’s key days or seasons, along with information about how and why the church moved from one calendar to the other, and application about what each of our days, both holiday and ordinary day, tell us about how to steward and celebrate the time God has given us.
You may be looking ahead to your September “new year” schedule – or trying not to think about it yet! In either case, I hope these words from the current introduction to the book are an encouragement to you as you consider how you structure your days:
In our always-connected digital world, many of us have become accustomed to the idea that we are the architects of our days. We make our appointments and set our schedules, all the while kvetching that we’re just too busy. Our overscheduled lives proclaim to the world and ourselves that really, we’re super-indispensible people. We allow a subtle pride to warp our understanding of our role in God’s story: “Look at my crammed datebook! If others need or want me this much, I must be pretty important.”
I’d like to suggest that our watches and Day-Timers and Google calendars are not the measure of our worth. We who belong to Jesus understand (at least in our heads) that we are not our own. Our eternal God has given us this slice of eternity, right here and now, in which to live for and with him.
In other words, our calendar is the way in which we create intentionality in the way you live the gift of eternal life God has given you through his Son. My prayer for each of us is that we will have ears to hear the rhythm of eternity as we consider the way in which we live each moment and day of our lives.
Many women’s ministry leaders, small group heads, and book club facilitators use the dog days of summer to plan upcoming events. I’d love to be a part of your group’s gathering or retreat. I speak about topics including:
- Naming and processing regrets. My book on the topic, If Only: Letting Go Of Regret, won an Award of Merit in the 2015 Christian Life category from Christianity Today magazine. You can sample the first chapter of the book here.
- Spiritual growth through life’s transitions. I’ve blogged extensively on the subject ofspiritual formation at midlife, but the principles of change, loss and new life apply to all of us, no matter what our age and life stage.
- The stories within the Jewish and Christian calendars. Both have much to say to us about our Eternal God and our relationship to him.
Click here to contact me if you’d like more information or to schedule a date.
Finally, if you’ve read to this point, thank you! I’ll be drawing one winner from all entries received by Friday, July 31 at midnight to receive either a copy of If Only: Letting Go Of Regretor a $10 Amazon gift card – your choice! Click here to send me your name, snail mail address, email address and which gift you’d like if you win. (U.S. addresses only.)
May you find safety, sanctuary and shalom in the loving arms of our great God (Deut. 33:27), this day and everyday.
Image via Creative Commons 2.0/Wikipedia