There is a perception of summer that things “slow down” because vacations are typically taken and that the pace is more relaxed than other seasons.
The reality is that summer always turns into one of the busiest times for me, in my personal life and even in my work life. Most of the time I’ll have nearly every weekend committed to weddings, family gatherings, or visiting friends in different places. Then to top it off, I’ll have a week like last week where I’m traveling the entire week and 15 hour days are the norm.
In all of this, I have felt more and more as if my attention to God has been divided. My routine and daily reading and prayer completely dropped off the radar, and I was left with the sense of feeling like I had been thrown from a horse and not sure how to get back on. I knew I needed to be close to God, I just felt so distant.
Because of God’s grace, my preacher reminded me of a simple, beautiful equation: Jesus + Nothing = Everything. In the last few weeks or even months, I admit that following Jesus felt a bit burdensome, as if it were a task on my list of to-do’s. I felt a sense of guilt if I hadn’t read or prayed, but I didn’t feel the overwhelming desire to follow through.
This equation reminds me of the religion I must put down. I must realize that it’s not the actions that I do that dictate how near or far I am from God. The truth is that God is near. Always. That’s the beauty of the cross. That’s the truth that makes me fall to my knees and praise.
When everything in this world demands something more of me, Jesus simply calls me as I am. He doesn’t tack on a new skill or a new to-do list for me to complete before I come. He looks on me with love, gives me true freedom to walk with him, and gives me purpose in letting me share that with others.
This is the true message of the gospel. Jesus didn’t just die on a cross, but he put to death my sin so that I could walk in the freedom of being right with him and the Father. There is nothing else I can place on top of that truth that makes me any more right with God.