Growing up in Florida had its advantages. I spent a lot of time outdoors playing and going to the beach. Naturally, I had my share of skinned knees and bruises, but the greatest threat that I faced at that time wasn’t even considered a threat. It was sunburn.
One of my earliest childhood memories was of going to the lake with my parents and returning with my back red and blistered. It was miserable. My mother sprayed my back with Solarcain, and it cooled the burn–for about 15 seconds. Younger readers will have to ask their parents about that.
Unlike today, suntan lotion didn’t contain sunscreen. So, playing outdoors inevitably led to getting burned and being miserable, even when my mom applied sun tan lotion. Was “SPF” even a term in those days?
Like so many teenagers of my time and into my college years, I was determined to stay tanned. After all, being tanned gave me some hope with the girls. By then, I had come to expect to get sunburned before I tanned.
Little did I know overexposure to the sun was taking a toll on me. Outside I had a “healthy” tan, but inside, unseen and unbeknownst to me, the sun was doing damage below the surface. Years later I met my first dermatologist. Too much exposure to the sun had caused not only wrinkles but also skin cancer. I’ve had two minor surgeries and many office procedures to remove skin cancers.
How ironic. While I played, surfed, swam, and enjoyed the outdoors, I was oblivious to the damage being done. I was happy to look healthy but ignorant of how too much sun can make us unhealthy. While the sun is good for us, it helps our skin to make vitamin D, and it positively affects our mood, when used unwisely the sun can cause irreversible harm and, in some cases, death.
Like the sun, a lot of good things that when misused can cause serious harm and even death. We can easily allow good things to be used unwisely. We may get accustomed to an occasional “burn” and ignore it because we’re enjoying ourselves. We may be becoming “unhealthy” and not even know it until the damage is done.
Eventually, we must return to reality. Sooner or later, we reap what we sow.
This summer we can be thankful for any time or resources that allow us to rest, relax, travel, and enjoy our families. As summer ends, we can approach fall refreshed with great memories. Or, we can misuse the precious time and resources God has given us and approach fall stressed with no fond memories of a summer well spent.
When the kids are going back to school, we could be closer to God and our family. Or, we can make idols out of our blessings and allow our relationship with God to grow cold. We may suddenly realize that we were “burnt” this summer and didn’t even know it was happening.
Do you want to keep from getting “burnt” this summer? Do you want to be closer to God and your family when school starts? Do you want to use money wisely and avoid debt? And, do you want your church to experience health and growth this summer?
If you recognize the danger of wasting precious time and money, if you understand the real possibility of getting “burnt” when you put good times and things ahead of God, then I have some simple advice:
Stay in the Son!