One of the greatest days of the year for me as a kid was the first day of summer. There was nothing like waking up that first glorious morning realizing I had a full three months of nothing but fun and adventure ahead of me. After a nutritous breakfast of Pop Tarts, Fruit Loops, or some other sugar-packed cereal, I would take off on my bike to meet my friends. You never stayed home in the summer, and you certainly never stayed indoors. Summer days were spent in the great outdoors. Living on the edge of town, there were rolling hills to roam and wooded areas to explore. To this day, when I am back in Missouri, I love to walk through the woods. It brings back a lot of happy memories.
I will never forget the time my friends and I built our own raft from scrap lumber. We even attempted to bouy it with Folgers coffee cans underneath. Upon launching our nautical creation in a nearby pond, it promptly sunk. Someone had to go fetch my friend Jerry out of the pond. Like a good captain, he went down with the raft.
There were many days spent playing the favorite childhood game called pretend. One day we were detectives trying to solve some neighborhood mystery. The next day we were frontiersmen taming the great American wilderness. Some days we were soldiers on a dangerous mission. Other days we were famous athletes playing in the Superbowl or World Series. Of course, when we got tired of playing pretend we would reenter reality and go jump in the neighborhood swimming pool.
Other memories from those lazy, hazy days of summer include family cook-outs, drive-in movies, homemade ice cream, running barefoot in the grass catching fire flies, a day at the lake, the Good Humor ice cream truck loaded with frozen delights, an evening drive through town with the windows rolled down, and beautiful summer sunsets. These were long carefree days you wished would never end.
I am reminded of this verse from the song Toyland sung by Doris Day -
Childhood's joy land
Mystic merry toyland
Once you pass its borders
You can ne'er return again
My childhood summer memories are of days far removed. But the God who was with me then as a young boy, is with me now as a middle-aged man. While I have changed with the passing of the years, the One I serve remains the same. He is forever faithful and true.
While memory is a gift from God, so is each new day. It's summertime again. Live each and every day of it to the fullest. Live each and every day of it for the Lord.
Pastor Todd Weston