Spring is always a dangerous time for me spiritually.
We’ve emerged from the holiness and headiness of the grandest part of the liturgical year: Christmas and Easter have come and gone. Summer’s heat lies ahead, full of patriotism and barbecues but maybe not much in the way of service. Vacations can take us from our churches and reduce our opportunities to connect with others. Or, alternatively, the ten thousand camps, conferences, and retreats that churches offer during this season can burn us out.
In light of that, here are five suggestions for you to keep the flame alive, so to speak:
- Find season-specific ways to serve. Give flowers to someone or plant them for someone who can’t do it themselves; at many places, flowers are plenty cheap this time of year. Help an elderly person in your neighborhood or your congregation prepare their home for the coming season, or pick up fans for families you know who will be without A/C this summer. Invite acquaintances over for a barbecue, or donate your extra upcoming produce to local families who might need it and enjoy it.
- Support your college students, youth and children. ‘Tis the season for church camps and VBS. Volunteer your time, your money, or your resources to help children attend conferences or to get the most out of their experience as your church. Start a sports league, or support your church’s local youth sports programs. And offer to buy your college kids lunch if you want – a lot of ’em are back in town for a while.
- Set some spiritual goals for the rest of the year. What has God laid on your heart that He wants you to do? Are there any particular people you’d like to connect with? A ministry you’d like to begin? A study you’d like to start? Set your goals now so your season will have some structure.
- Have a one-person retreat. Devote a weekend, if you can, of time to God. Just the two of you. Spend some time getting to know Him, thinking about Him, and contemplating your own walk in peace and in silence. Allow yourself some time to grow individually instead of getting swept up in a million group activities. (I will be providing some materials for a one-person retreat later on this month).
- Take advantage of the outside. In spring and summer, everyone’s outside. Neighbors, kids, co-workers… If you’re an introvert, or even if you’re not, this is a great low-stress way to meet people. Just say “hi” when you’re out, ask a question, or give a way. Use this time to plant the seeds of relationships that might grow later on.
If you have any more spring ideas, I’d love to hear them. I hope this will be a spiritually-fruitful time for you!