10. Play with my new iphone – Some might suggest that, spiritually, I’m not off to a good start here, but I’m being honest…My new apple iphone 3G is scheduled to arrive in the mail today and I’m seriously excited! Here’s a crazy fact for you: I’ve never owned a cell phone before. I never wanted to be the guy chatting on the phone in the restaurant, and I’m entirely convinced you shouldn’t drive while talking on a cell phone (hypothesis by observation, not experience). I’ve heard cell phones ring during Sunday services, weddings, and funerals (yes, funerals!) alike, and it’s always grated against me. But, here I am, about to join the massive fraternity of cell phone users. Some of my colleagues completely unplug while on holidays but, for whatever reason, I find myself wanting to preserve a link with the environment I plan to soon leave behind.
9. Re-read John Calvin’s, Institutes of the Christian Religion – Don’t worry, I have some less daunting reads in my book bag as well. I’m way overdue for a refresher on Calvin. I wish we wrote theology today the way Calvin did. Against the stereotype that the Reformers and Puritans provide a cold orthodoxy, I have yet to read a contemporary book where the author demonstrates as much passion for Christ as Calvin does in his books. Beyond his obvious brilliance and expertise in handling the Scriptures, John Calvin’s love for his Saviour is palpable and immensely contagious.
8. BBQ huge quantities of red meat – I probably think about this activity way more than what is normal. Striploin steaks, short ribs, hamburgers……mmmm good!
7. Complete a 1,000 piece puzzle – My wife appreciates when I do this because it frees up the TV for about three days. I enjoy puzzles because they relax me without deadening my brain cells. At various points in the puzzle completion, this becomes a father-daughter project as my 6 year-old seems to have a keen eye for pulling together some difficult pieces for me.
6. Bass Fishing – Another activity that I find hugely relaxing. I fish in a canoe, on a relatively small lake, and so it is particularly quiet, which is perfect for prayer and for pondering life in general. We’re bringing the deep fryer to the cottage this summer, so I have some extra incentive to actually catch some decent sized fish!
5. Enclose my garage port with vinyl siding – I’m not exactly what you would call a ‘Handy man’ so I hope I don’t gum this up! Our existing garage is way too big for someone with so few tools and machines, and so we’re converting it into a bunkhouse. The attached ‘breezeway’/garage port is smaller and, when enclosed, will be adequate for the modicum of garage things I own.
4. Prepare outlines for my Sunday messages – I realize that many pastors would frown against such a practice while on holidays. I get that. But at the same time, I tend to write my best stuff while at the cottage. I read way more, have way more quiet time, and way less distractions. My best chance at saying sensible things on Sunday this Fall hinges in part on my using holiday time to prepare messages.
3. Stop making ‘To Do’ lists! – I’m far too task oriented. I get a charge out of making monster sized lists of things to do, and then completing them. On some level, I need to mortify this practice while on holidays. As you can see, however, I wanted to finish items 4 through 10 first!
2. Spend quality time with my wife and daughter – I need to be intentional about putting down my iphone, putting away the hammer, putting down the pen and paper, walking away from the puzzle table in order to enjoy the two most precious people in my life, Allie and Anya. Swimming will likely be the uniting activity for the three of us. With Anya, kicking a soccer ball back and forth is also a great time for bonding.
1. Spend quality time with God – I have been so blessed. God has been good; He has been so patient with me; He has delivered 100% of the time when I needed that extra portion of His strengthening grace. That being said, there’s a sense in which I feel like I’ve treated God like that gifted friend who can always help me complete a task. I need time with God just to be with Him. I want to put down my ‘I need list’ for a time so I can simply enjoy who God is and what He has already done for me through His Son, Jesus Christ. More than anything else this summer, I want to reconnect with my Lord. I want to draw close to Him and learn anew the joy of clinging to Him (Psalm 63:1-8).
What about you? What are you doing to recharge this summer?