The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



July 20, 2007

Still summer!

Tuesday evening, July 17, I wheeled my shopping cart through Dominick’s grocery store, passing up tomatoes that were still from somewhere other than Illinois and peaches from somewhere other than Michigan, or even Georgia. Same for the sweet corn, which was way past the “knee high” benchmark on the 4th of July here in the Midwest, but won’t be readiy for picking for a week or two.

But then at the end of the produce section, I ran right into a Back-to-School display—featuring rows of neon-bright folders, a vast array of colored markers and crayons, requisite packs of paper and rulers and pencils and scissors and jars of paste. Lunch bags and water bottles, too, enticed in high-tech designs.

And I, not a violent type, was ready to run it all down with my cart. “It’s still summer!” I wanted to scream. But I didn’t, of course, even as I passed by the array of grill accessories—all at end-of-season discount prices.

I treasure the long, light days and evenings in June, July and August—even though my days are not “lazy,” but spent inside the Lutheran Center where our windows don’t open. Or, perhaps, because that’s where I spend my days. And, of course, as part of the magazine staff, our July days really are devoted to September thoughts as that’s the issue we’re working on now.

But this is more than personal: Many of us live pressing the fast-forward button. We miss being present to this day, with its pleasures and its pains and even its monotonies, because we’re rushing on headlong into the future. When do we stop and heed the command, “Be still...and know that I am God” ?

Our readers ask for articles on how to live a more spiritual life, aware of God’s presence and alert to how this can shape their days. What a powerful force we face in a culture that so relentlessly pushes us into the future...before we can even savor and give thanks for the summer’s ripe tomatoes.




Posted at 7:51 pm (U.S. Eastern) 7/18/2007

How about the "End of Summer" catalog I received yesterday from Land's End?

Pam Deines

Pam Deines

Posted at 1:34 am (U.S. Eastern) 7/20/2007

Here in CA I start my 33rd year of teaching next week, so I appreciate being able to locate school supplies for my students at a discount. That doesn't mean I disregard your message about our Hurry Up society. It only makes me more determined to find the beauty of God's creation is every single moment. The deep chortle of a happy baby in a crowded Target aisle, the shsht-shsht-shsht of a neighbor's sprinklers at dusk, and the orange and blue stripes of a sunrise as I drive to work during a time of year that used to be reserved for catching fireflies and fishing with your Dad. God is good in every moment, but you surely do have to be purposeful to acknowledge that in our busy world.



Posted at 11:29 am (U.S. Eastern) 7/23/2007

I've got several teacher friends who must head back to their classrooms in mid-August to ready their rooms for students who arrive in the last week or after Labor Day. But, Pam, your start time is the earliest I've ever heard of. Of course you need to have supplies available!

And the point you make about taking joy in God's presence in all our moments—busy or leisurely—is at the heart of a life of faith. Thanks for that reminder.

Lorraine J.

Lorraine J.

Posted at 12:31 pm (U.S. Eastern) 7/24/2007

Yes, it's still summer! I'm a nature photographer and I live in the moment all of the time. I see God's beauty as I patiently wait for the butterflies, honey bees, and bumble bees to make their way to the many flowered heads of pink and white clover in my backyard. Many of the other flowers are in their most heavenly blooms right now. Each day is a day unto itself. Soon enough we'll be ooing and ahhing over the multicolored fall leaves and the bright orange pumpkins, but right now,  that flower, that sunrise/sunset, that fluttering butterfly, that lush green grass, in  this day, this moment, are all good gifts from God, thank God for today!

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