While it seems in many ways as if the summer just started, the calendar says differently!  Today, August 1, marks the first day for teachers in the public schools in our area to return to school.

In our area of Neshoba County, the conclusion of the  Neshoba County Fair, which ran from July 22-29, marks the unofficial end of summer and the resumption of normal work and family schedules.  While in the church we have been working as a staff to get ready for the fall season, those preparations for the fall and for the coming year will kick into high gear in the coming weeks, and will continue through Christmas.

In the midst of all that is going on around us, the temptation is to get in such a rush that we meet ourselves coming and going.  There are lot of details to cover with school supplies, new clothes, fall sports and other activities, etc.  Even if you don’t have children or your children have long since left the household, we still gain a sense of this activity and this stress as we go to the stores and as we observe the increased activity of those around us.

We are a society that places value on keeping busy.  Time spent doing nothing is seen as lazy, so we get into a habit of rushing around from one activity to another.  If we are not careful, we get so caught up in the rushing around that we forget why we got involved in all of this stuff in the first place!  This unsettledness, this hectic pace of life that is all around us also has a way of spilling over into our spiritual life.  We tend to be impatient with God.  We want God to operate on our timetable. We want God to be there at the snap of our fingers instead of remembering that what God wants is for us to be patient and operate on God’s timetable.

In talking about God’s timing and being patient, Harry Emerson Fosdick, a famous early 20th century preacher, once wrote the following words in a book entitled  Deep is the Hunger:

“I need thy sense of time.  Always I have an underlying anxiety about things.   Sometimes I am in a hurry to achieve my ends and am completely without patience.  It is hard for me to realize that some growth is slow, that all processes are not swift.  I cannot always discriminate between what takes time to develop and what can be rushed, because my sense of time is dulled.  I measure things in terms of happenings.  O to understand the meaning of perspective that I may do all things with a profound sense of God’s time.”

The biblical writer James put it this way: “Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord.  The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.  You also must be patient.”

In this time of preparation and rushing around, let us pray for patience for one another and for ourselves, trusting in God’s timing.  Let us take the time to spend with God and listen for God’s voice in our lives.  Let us enter into this season with a “profound sense of God’s time,” so that even in the pace of the physical life journey, we may be calm in spirit because we have that assurance that God is with us.