I took the photo above at Carpinteria State Beach this past weekend. Bethany and I had a good time just getting away to be with some friends who were camping out there, and I got a chance to try out my new lens. Those are people you are seeing in the bottom right corner, so that should give you an idea of just how much you are looking at. As I look at this photo, it makes me sad to say that even though summer isn’t officially over until the 21st of September, it just feels as if it’s already come to an abrupt end.
Life is just full right now. We’re packing to move, we have lots of things going on at church, work is just as busy as normal, and I even have a few weddings coming up that I’ll be photographing — two in the matter of one week! For me, that’s full. And with the fullness of life comes the constant feeling that I missed out on something, like summer. I don’t think I completely missed the whole summer, but I’m always left with the feeling that I could’ve taken more time off or gone away with Bethany more. Maybe it’s because if you grow up in the American school system, you know that for at least three months out of the year, you don’t have to rush to make the bus to school and you’ll be running around the neighborhood with your Super Soaker, enjoying the nice summer weather? Those just seemed liked simpler times, and when you spend your summer weekends looking for a place to live and trying to stay on top of the work the Lord has given you, you start to think you missed out on something better or more exciting. In the end though, the Lord has had other things for me.
I was reminded this week as I’ve been reading Romans, that the apostle Paul could’ve easily felt this way about his own time, but he never did. He greatly desired to come to the Roman church and preach the Gospel, but the Lord had other things for him, and yet I don’t hear him complaining or desiring some kind of summer vacation. What I read from Paul is a heart without regrets, and a true care for people. All of a sudden my desires to have more leisure time away in the summer months seems far less weighty when compared to a man who spent his life for the sake of the Gospel and for people. I guess it just puts things in to perspective for me, and today I needed that perspective. I needed to realize that I’m more than blessed when I get to get away for even a single day, just to relax.