It’s coming up on that in-between time of summer. July is almost behind us and everybody seems anxious to get on with Fall. I’m not quite there yet. We still have the entire month of August in front of us and back when I was in elementary school, we would just be getting into the height of summer.
But things are different now. The Indianapolis Public School system starts classes next Monday and the northern suburbs of Indy are not far behind. Several other schools are starting this week – in July! Back in the day, we didn’t go back to school until a day or two after Labor Day. And I liked that much better.
On another front, even our Bible study has gone on summer break. Normally, we start in early June and then meet weekly until Thanksgiving or so. But this year, various members of our group have other activities they have to attend to – including things that Janet and I have to do over the summer. So, even our small group that has been together twenty years is taking a month off. It’s just a strange year all around.
With the new Delta variant of Covid, even the mask situation is unclear at this point. Just today, several school systems have mandated that masks must be worn for all the grades K-12. What’s even more interesting is that those disposable masks aren’t allowed. Every child must have several masks, of different colors, so they can be rotated each day and the teacher can keep track to make sure that kids aren’t wearing their masks several days in a row. Who would have thought?
And, we have had the great fortune to have our church services outside in the parking lot this summer. It has been awesome. But, this coming Sunday is the last week being outside. Then, you guessed it, we are heading back inside into the sanctuary. Summer is only half over – but with the kids heading back to school, it seems that everybody else is ending their summer activities as well!
On the work front, there are three times of year that are tough to find people. The beginning of summer, the end of summer, and the period from Thanksgiving until New Year’s. The most difficult of these is right around the corner. With the changes due to Covid and the changes with the difficulty finding good help, the situation is just going to get worse.
While hotels are booked up and airlines are getting busier, even regular summer vacations are different from other years. Dynamic pricing is rampant – that’s where the busier a place gets, the higher the prices climb to stay there. The country is in chaos. Hopefully, after Labor Day things will return to a little slower pace and we can all catch our breath.
In the meantime, stress levels are up, doctors’ offices are busy and people are looking for ways to relieve their stress. It’s not fun right now. Our verse for tonight comes from King Solomon, the son of King David. He was the author of Ecclesiastes, a book that discusses the state of mankind and Solomon’s thoughts on wisdom.
Solomon tells us, basically, that there is nothing new under the sun. It’s all happened before, but it may have been at a different time and place. He tells us, in Ecclesiastes 1:9-10, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.”
My encouragement this evening is that throughout history, mankind has had to deal with all sorts of problems that seem new to us, but really aren’t. There have even been pandemics throughout the ages, so Covid isn’t the first time we have been challenged by illness. My prayer is that we will all take care to make sure that we remain as stress free as possible and that we take all these changes to heart in such a way as to remain open to the idea of God’s perfect timing and getting back to a more normal life as soon as we can. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…