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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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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.

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