Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer Reminicing

Do you remember summertime as a kid? I do and it was glorious. Mom would put out the sprinkler in the front yard where my friends and I would dart back and forth between the rotating streams of cold water. Barefoot and full of adventure I would climb the trees and dangle from branches. When I got older I traded in the tree for the backyard shed and declared myself "Queen of the World" from atop its shingled roof.
During the summer I could spend hours riding my bike up and down the street and all around the neighborhood. I relished the freedom to peddle my way over to my friend's houses and I never missed an opportunity to run after the ice cream truck. The day my taste buds discovered the Choco-Taco I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
Now that I'm older summers have changed and they don't declare "freedom" the way they used to. It's more than just the June release from school and a warm-weather increase in ice cream consumption that's changed. Everything about my summers are dramatically different.
Now during summers I can't spend as much time outdoors and certainly not in the heat of the day. My spastic muscles can't take it. I don't run through sprinkles or jump into pools of frigid waters. My body's thermostat doesn't tolerate that activity, either. I can't ride a bike like I did as a kid because my rear has lost all of its cushioning. And I can't eat ice cream - not unless I want a debilitating stomach ache.
I know it is possible to get winter blues, but is it possible to suffer from summer blues? I think it must be, because on some hot, beautiful and bright summer days I get a little melancholy when I remember summers the way they used to be, when I could embrace them and relish them in all of their sun-shiny glory. I'll admit that on some summer days the tune of my heart has hummed a gloomy, "I'll be so blue just thinking about you" instead of a cheery, "I want to soak up the sun."
At the heart of my summer blues is sadness at what used to be and what is now. I used to be healthy and well and the season of summer embodied that season of my life. From my perfectly golden tan to the strength in my legs to pedal my bicycle for hours, everything about summer was good and right, the way I thought it always would be. For years I have been singing the blues over the loss of summer but not today. Today I am singing a new summer song. A song of freedom.
Whether or not I ever lay on a beach again and soak up a golden tan, I will relish freedom. If I never bite into an ice cream cone again, I will savor freedom. Regardless of my body's thermostat or the stamina and strength in my legs, I will celebrate freedom.
I will sing about freedom from the chains of regrets. I will dance because I am free from the burden of worry and fear. I will smile for the freedom from loneliness and relish the freedom to enjoy silence. I will cherish the freedom to rest and choose the freedom to live in peace over anxiety. I will celebrate because I am free to embrace life and experience it with joy!
Without need a BBQ or a beach I will choose to rejoice in the true freedom of Christ and sing an everlasting song about the Savior who broke my chains of bondage so that I may live in a perpetual season of summer freedom.

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