“It’s SUUUUMMERRRRRR!,” came the cry of an elementary student as he ran out from his class the last day of school. I live just a few houses from an elementary school here in Cypress, CA and witnessed the cascade of happy students as they ended a year of school and started their summer. This particular student came running through the little park next to the school with a hand full of papers in one hand and his backpack jolting from one side to another as he ran. The call of joy that “It’s summer!” came from a face lit up with the wide eyes of joy and a huge smile of delight. As he greeted his mom with a hug, he said, “I can’t wait to go to the Great Wolf Lodge.” The Great Wolf Lodge is an indoor water park and resort in Garden Grove. As I walked by, I also heard parents and kids anticipating their trips to Disney World, camping with friends, church family camp in the Sequoias, going to visit their parents and grandparents in another state, and one was going to visit family in Korea. As I passed by hearing of all these trips and family adventures, I was encouraged and challenged as people were making an intentional connection this summer. They were making choices to intentionally connect: connect with family, connect with friends, connect with adventure, connect with nature, connect with God, and connect with fun. I was inspired and encouraged to make my own intentional connections this summer.
Summer is a great time to connect and reconnect. Yes, it takes some intentionality. Most plans don’t just happen. Trips need to be planned. Time needs to be set aside. Details need to come together and all that takes some intentional planning. Sure, it is a bit of work, but well worth the memories created and relationships built.
This idea of intentional connections is something God encourages us to bring into our lives. God created this amazing world to enjoy as it reveals much about Him.
Romans 1:20 For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
As we stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon or look up at Half Dome in Yosemite or see the grandeur of the Sequoia Redwoods, the power of the waves on the beach or the dazzling clear night sky of the mountains, we gain a greater view of God.
Psalms 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.
Making the intentional choice to enjoy God’s creation is a great connection.
Intentionally connecting with friends and family builds the bonds of relationship and love.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Proverbs 27:10 Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend…
Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
Proverbs 17:6 Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
It’s taking time and making time to have a BBQ, meeting up at the beach or the movies or a game night, planning time to interact and enjoy the moment telling stories, talking sports, and learning of what is going on each other’s lives. Making the choice to engage others is a great intentional connection.
It is also good to make the intentional choice to rest this summer. With many people taking vacations, part of that time it is good to rest.
Hebrews 4:9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,
Matthew 11:28 Come to me (Jesus), all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Making the choice to pull aside and rest by taking a nap, reading a book, sitting at the beach, or taking a walk around the lake reflecting, processing, or just enjoying the sounds of nature, whatever is restful is a great intentional connection.
In all this it is also good to connect with God.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the Lord and his strength; seek His presence continually!
We connect with God through prayer. He loves the sound of our thoughts, through reading His Word, the Bible, and through attending church. Making the choice to connect to God is an amazing intentional connection. By the way, if you don’t already have a church you attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has all the information you would need: www.cypresschurch.net. So let’s make some intentional connections this summer.
Seeking to be more intentionally connected this summer along with you,