The cool days of spring have just left; summer’s here so quickly, I’ve hardly had time to watch my apple tree blossoms bloom. I’ve been too busy studying for the last tests of high school, so busy with the last finishing touches of my childhood years, and now, my spring has gone. But with the deadlines passing and the lessons trickling to a few, I turn my face to the new season before me, beholding the vast freedom of summer. The whole world lies sparkling, bright pebbles in the creek, begging me to pick up and do. A new season of life is rising in the dawn, a season ripe to live and shape as my very own. But how shall I live it, and for what purpose? What shall I do with the Summer of my life?

For the season does not last long; the bright and busy days flash by so swiftly that somber fall soon arrives, then grave winter. Thus, I see many people “living for the moment,” chasing their whim wherever it takes them, whether the boat or the beach or the trail. Why spend the good days doing dreary tasks and hoarding a savings? Delight in life, for “tomorrow we die.”

Yet the pleasures of summer are even briefer than summer itself. For the moment after the boat glides back to the dock or the foot steps off the beach or trail, the lingering euphoria fades away. And the feeling cannot be recaptured by memory, but must be mustered again and again by repeated experiences of the same. So life travels in a cycle of continuous quests for pleasure, pleasures that grow increasingly hard to enjoy as time slows and weakens the body. For who, reaching the age of eighty, can still pulsate with the desires of youth? For “the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing” (Ecclesiastes 1:8b), so in the end, what value has been retained?

Others, too, feel the continuous striving for pleasure as too shallow a life philosophy. Rather than frolicking in the carefree ocean, these people study the currents, the wind patterns, the seagull formations. Not “live in the moment,” but “seek knowledge” is their maxim. Theories expounding the world’s secret complexities, from the workings of the atom to the origin of the universe, are their life’s end. Is not this what the marvelous mind of man was made for, to desire and know truth?

Yet in the eye of science, truth seems so transient. Thousands of theories have been hailed as true, then abandoned years, decades, or centuries later. Once, the scientists and intellectuals of a past age hailed as fact that the sun and planets turned around the earth and that mice arose from stale wheat. Now, their sure ideas are laughed at. But how are we to know that our current knowledge will not follow the futile way of former ones? If anything is proven by scientific history, it is that theories come and go as the tides of the sea. For what purpose is all this knowledge painstakingly gained?

But maybe I will forsake the knowledge-seekers and the pleasure-seekers, and turn to my fellow man. Don’t I see many others giving their summers to those they love, holding their babies and kissing their wives and laughing with friends like these were the essence of life? Surely to love and be loved is more enduring than passing pleasure, more meaningful than mere learning. Surely what could be greater, more wondrous, and more lasting than a life dedicated to friends and family?

Yet even these do not last. Children grow and run away to their own sunny places. In the summer days, friends abound; but often when the sky darkens and the rains begin, they migrate to better climates. Even spouses grow bored and restless, wandering from their solemn pledges. How are we to know if love can evade betrayal? And even if so, then death stings all the more colder, when a dearly loved one is untimely gone. Who will be there to remember and to comfort, when they all will go or be gone?

Yet now, there is a Constant beyond these varying, fading, earthly things: a Creator who’s chosen His children to live for the greatest Goal. For this, the heavens and earth were made, and all that is in them. For this, we have been created – to glorify God. He is the center and the axis upon which all the universe turns. He is the Theme and the Writer of history, the Teacher and the Lesson of creation. He is the Good that shines and defeats the darkness, turning its schemings straight into His plans. And because He is not just infinite in time and space and power, but also in goodness, He is also infinite in value.

And because He is perfect in holy worth, nothing we find can excel Him. This life’s love may betray, but His love is always faithful. All knowledge may pass away, but He knows and reveals all secrets and all wonders. Earthly pleasure passes, but His heavenly joy and glory surpasses every delight for all eternity. The seasons grow and wither, but He forever lives. Glory be to God! How can we wonder then, when the Son of God proclaimed the greatest commandment of all: “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

So when this summer comes, I pray that the Lord will be my single goal and glory.

So when I laugh and play, I’ll remember: Every moment is His, lent to me by His gracious hand. O, how I must spend it wisely. For life is too short to dwell on that which doesn’t matter, to invest in that which has no lasting value. Only God has everlasting value, only He matters when the winter comes. From the dawn’s first sunrays to the shadows of dusk, I will praise His name, proclaim His name, and pray His name.

So when I lie still and ponder, I’ll remember: In Him alone can I find not just perfect knowledge, but perfect wisdom: not just the how’s of the universe, but the why’s. The greatest search for truth is to know God – in the mind and in the heart and in the soul.

And when I kiss and hug those I love, I’ll remember: When they and I have gone our separate ways, God still will be there. When our love is shaken, His love remains unbroken and everlasting. For how could God stop loving us His children, when He has demonstrated “His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Yet sinners! Yet, God died for us His enemies, to create us pure and blameless before Him as glories to His name. So “not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:6-8).

So as the new season dawns, I do not know where I’ll go or what I’ll be. But I know that I will glorify God – not just for this summer, but to the fall and through the winter and onward to the everlasting Spring.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

Romans 11:36

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