(BTW…I chose this picture simply because I am a Red Sox fan and huge admirer of the late great Ted Williams. And also because as sad as it is to see summer end, I love fall baseball)
I’m not sure about you, but summer always seems to turn out differently than expected.
I had grand plans to write a bunch of blog posts, hang out with my students all the time, and be really prepared for the start of school (for once!)
Well, summer came and went. It seemed to be busier than summers before…although I seem to think that each year.
The school year started before I even realized it. I am already starting to look ahead to our winter calendar!
This past summer, our youth group had a wonderful (but very intense) service project trip, numerous summer events, activities, and meetings that kept everyone connected.
These were all really good, but the things I hoped to finally get around to doing (you know those things that in the spring you say you will do when things “slow down” in the summer). Yeah, those things… I have not gotten around to doing.
Now, partly was because I made a conscious decision and effort to spend quality time with my wife. She is a school teacher and the summer provides her only stress-free and work-free time of the year. We took day trips, road trips, and just enjoyed each other’s company and did things in our community we seldom find time to do during the year.
That was good.
What was not good was not getting to everything I had hoped for.
And friends, summer is over.
Here is the northeast, the weather has changed almost overnight. It seems that as soon as school started, the mornings and evenings got real cool and the days are getting shorter. Leaves are already starting to change, pants and long sleeve shirts are brought back from storage, and the beaches are vacant.
Now, the full school year is upon us. I am planning staff meetings, youth retreats, youth leader training, and three months of lessons.
We are in the process of a major overhaul of our Sunday AM program and also beginning a brand new Confirmation program thanks to the good people at Sparkhouse
From a writing standpoint, we (Chris Folmsbee and I) are hoping to have God is Loud finished and distributed this fall and I am currently signing a contract for a new book called Postmodern Shifts, first draft due by January, 2011.
Every youth pastor I talk with feels overwhelmed this time of year, as do I.
I can only recommend staying focussed and centered in Christ, however that works for you.
Moments of rest and retreat.
Times of laughter, play, and recreation.
Walks with Jesus and talks with others.
Enjoy a fall hike or take an hour with a freshly brewed cup of coffee
Some find refreshment and restoration in solitude and silence, while others enjoy the embrace of noise.
I am trying to find my rhythm this fall as another busy year creeps up on me.
I know this year will be full of wonder, mysteries, majesty, confusion, doubt, frustration, smelly vans, joy, despair, upset parents, painful budge meetings, some kids “getting” it while others not paying attention, and hopefully enough grace to make it through!