I was listening to my favorite morning radio talk show, and the hosts had people call in if they had already filled every weekend on their calendar for the summer.

In other words, they were so busy that they could not squeeze in one more social obligation until after Labor Day. Yikes.

Summer is a season that we somehow expect to be sort of laid back, relaxing. The problem is, it’s not.

What happened to lazy summers? Why do some people have their entire summer filled with activity? Why do we approach even our recreation as if it were a competitive sport?

I live in Chicago, where summer is short. You want to take advantage of the opportunity to get outside and enjoy these few short months of warm weather.  But that doesn’t explain the busyness.

Why would people call in to a radio show to talk about how busy they are? Because we equate busyness with importance. If you have a full calendar, you are significant. But come September, do you really feel more important as a result? Busyness sells us a bill of goods, but doesn’t deliver.

Significance is found in a sane rhythm of life, one in which we work, but also rest. And in that rest, we get to experience a profound truth: we are still loved even when we are not productive. By slowing down, we are able to notice God’s care for us. And we are re-energized for the work we do.

If you have kids, summer can easily fill up with camps, sports, and other activities. Working parents have to patch together camps and care, so these options for kids are necessary. But often, we moms sign our kids up for so many things, that we end up in the car most of the summer, driving them to various activities.

What if you gave yourself, and thepeople you live with, a simple gift: a bit of down time, a day of rest? What are you doing to simplify your summer?