To many people, summer is synonymous with resting. My entire childhood, I was programmed to wait anxiously for school to be out for summer so I could relax and spend time doing activities that I enjoyed. As an adult who has to carefully budget 10 days of vacation now, “rest” has to take on a new look in my life.
For me, the summer is a time where I enjoy taking on new goals. The extra daylight and warm weather make it easier to pursue activities outside of work, spend time with friends and enjoy outdoor activities—whether that be exercising or dining on the patio! This weekend, I am traveling to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to relax at my family’s cottage in Cambridge. My grandparents bought the property years ago and my dad vacationed there throughout his childhood. As I look forward to two days of “rest” I found myself making a list of activities I wanted to accomplish while at the Shore. Among them: finish a book I’ve been reading, watch a Netflix movie I’ve had for 2 months, refinish a small side table (yes, I know that seems extreme), peruse a library book on upholstering furniture…and…take a nap!
This morning I was reading John 15. Verses 1 and 2 say this: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
Verse 2 caught my attention: “every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” It occurred to me: I must prune in order to produce. The more completely I lend myself to a few tasks, the more I am able to absorb what I’m reading and taking in and the better I am able to complete one task before starting another.
Make a list of your “open ended” activities and see which ones you can “prune” in order to focus more on the few that you are passionate about. The second part of verse 2 tells us that once we prune, we will “bear more fruit.”
I want to be more intentional about resting and allowing myself time to recharge from the normal business of the days and weeks. Come to think of it, I'll add that to the top of my TO-DO list!
How do you relax? What helps you “prune” extra activities and commitments?