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Reflections on Summer Solstice

Posted: Sunday, June 27, 2010

I don't know about you, but I am a person that needs light, lots of it. In February I get excited because I see that days are becoming visibly longer and summer is on the way. But as soon as we have our longest day of light, which was this week, I start to get apprehensive about the days getting shorter. Shorter, darker days are on the way even though they are months away. In effect, I take some of the most beautiful days of the year and fret over what is to come even though what I am experiencing is still wonderful. We have had great days this year and probably have already witnessed more blue skies than we do for an entire year in some years. Why do I let myself do that?

Our lives have seasons; not all of them are great, but they are all a gift from God. Sometimes what we need to realize is that when things are good, we should simply rejoice in that. Do not think about how much better they could be; rather, understand that any life is a gift that should be cherished. Don't fret about what tomorrow might bring, but rather rejoice in the beauty of today. Do not be like me and fret about what is coming, rather rejoice in what is already before you. That is God's gift to you.

What are you going to remember about this summer season? Will it be things you did with your family or special people in your life? Will it be spending time with someone near or far that you have not been able to connect with for a while? Will it be hiking or boating to places you have not had a chance to explore? The days are getting shorter so now is the time to consider it. Will you go visit someone to whom summer no longer has as much excitement as it once did? You can brighten up their day, even as the days get shorter. There is only one chance. We do not know how many days of summer there are in our lives, we just know that what we have today is a gift. "Use it or lose it," as the saying goes.

We are at the height of our tourist season. Even on the rainy days people are astonished at the beauty we experience daily. Do we take it for granted? Rejoice in it because there will be wet, cold days ahead and the sun we have seen the past few weeks will only be a memory.

Experience your faith in the same manner. Understand the beauty of it and realize that what you have is not enjoyed by all. On the days that you have peace, rejoice in it! And on days that you struggle, remember that at least you have faith to find your way through. Not everyone has that but with your help maybe they can find it. Our lives are a gift that we only have for a short time. Share them with someone you love. In fact, share them even with those you don't love. That is what we are called to do as people of God. As the days get shorter, share them with those you have found along the seasons of your life.

• Rev. Bob Stevens is minister at St. Brendan's Episcopal Church in Juneau.



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