What's your favorite memory of summertime? Warm sun. Long shadows. The ice-cream truck. Endless bike rides. Swimming. Running around the neighborhood. Grilling hotdogs. Movies. These are some of my favorite memories. I bet we share a lot of the same ideas on what constitutes a summer well lived. I also bet our ideas of an all-out summer don't exactly include hours of video games and binge TV watching. Those days are mixed in there - the rainy days when we can't go outside. But summer is about the warm flush of sun-kissed cheeks and shoulders from playing outside and building forts, and climbing trees, and swimming wherever we can find water. It's melting, drippy snow cones, and making up games with our siblings and friends in which establishing the rules takes all day and by the time you get it worked out it's time to go home. Oh, and sleeping in! Ah yes, summer is sleeping in, and cartoons on Saturday morning with a Pop Tart and some chocolate milk. And not taking an official bath because you're going swimming in the springs later after you fish a little while!
There is something about remembering days of good, hard play that brings a smile to our face. A long day of activity brings a level of satiety and fullness to our soul like nothing else can. We still feel it at times as grown-ups. When we golf 18 holes, hike or kayak for several hours, or go hunting, we feel it. You know the great feeling of scalloping in the summer? You swim and swim and find one little mollusk at a time and after four hours you've gathered enough to scrape out a few little succulent morsels of perfection to make an appetizer for your family of four. But it feels good. Your soul is full.
If you have children or grandchildren with you this summer, I want to encourage you to provide a full, soul-filling summer for those children. I realize that can be challenging when children are accustomed to electronics and tech gadgets. But their brains need a reprieve from that and their bodies need the re-awakening of activity. Feet need to feel sand, and hands need to feel mud. Eyes need a respite from the virtual world and need to refocus on the real world and the real people around them. We could all use a little help to offer our children and grandchildren an unplugged summer. Seven Rivers Church and School is offering a summer full of healthy, active goodness for your children. Give them an unplugged summer like they've never had before. Give them a summer like you remember. Give them something that will warm their memories years from now.