As summer rolls into August, we know that we are entering the home stretch of the holiday season. Most of us really enjoy our summer holidays, particularly when the weather co-operates. Earlier this summer it seemed like summer was never going to start. Then suddenly it felt too hot but people didn’t want to complain because we were so grateful to see the sunshine. There is something about a sunny day that can help with a sunny personality. That is why so many people move to California. But good weather alone does not guarantee the summer pause that refreshes.
I remember when I first went to Hawaii. The weather, surfing, swimming, and sights were great. The only problem with Hawaii was that I was there. I brought with myself that same sense of emptiness, that something was missing from my life. Last year, when I once again visited Hawaii, I happened to stumble upon a bagpipe ceremony for a person who had died tragically young. Just a few feet from a beautiful Hawaiian beach, I was reminded that all the beauty of creation doesn’t ultimately satisfy our inner longings. I love the beauty of creation particularly on a beautiful summer day, but the beauty of creation is meant to point beyond itself to the beauty of its Creator.
I come from a long line of overfunctioners and hard workers. Sometimes people in my family of origin have neglected the summer pause that refreshes. Sometimes they have attempted to keep going in their own strength. Sooner or later the body gets its revenge. Either we enter into the pause that refreshes or our body will force us to stop, sometimes in a rather shocking way. The Creator of this amazing world designed our bodies so that they worked best if we took pauses that refresh. That is why healthy people take regular days off. That is why summer holidays are so vital to our health. The Good Book calls the pause that refreshes the Sabbath. Similarly academics call their pause that refreshes a sabbatical. No one can function at their best on a 24/7 basis.
Because of our workaholic culture, some people do summer holidays with the same frenetic intensity, leaving them more exhausted than they started. They never pause to reflect, to enjoy, to observe, and to renew. No wonder that so many people half-jokingly say that they need a holiday just to recover from their holiday. What if in the final portion of the summer holidays, we actually rested? The heart of the Hebrew word ‘sabbath’ is ‘rest’. The Great Physician once said ‘Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ So often our souls are weary, burdened, and restless. What if this summer we embraced the pause that refreshes? What if during this holiday season we actually rested? What if this summer we allowed the beauty of creation to point us back to the author of creation? My prayer for those reading this article is that we would each become deeply refreshed and renewed in our body, soul, and spirit.
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector
BSW, MDiv, DMin
-an article for the August 2012 Deep Cove Crier
-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada
-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback andebook form. Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.
In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).
Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form. Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.
Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version. You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.
To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.
– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD. This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail email@example.com . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.
-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca