Friday, June 17, 2011

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~ Sam Keen

I love summer.  Schedules slow, days warm and stretch; there’s a little more time for exercise, for friends, for family, for reading or tending the garden.  The fine things of life finally step forward from backstage where they’ve been pushed in the whirly-birly of the year. 

We often dress up our desire to slow down with the borrowed term “Sabbath.”  Perhaps the ancient Jewish practice or the theological articles and books and sermons on the subject help make it more palatable to our Puritanical work ethic.  But I think in this case Sam Keen cuts to the chase: there’s a place and a time to be lazy, and the summer baptizes laziness with respectability. 

I’m not nearly as good at being lazy as I used to be.  University and graduate school and working in Japan and serving in ministry and being a dad have pretty well kicked it out of me.  As a boy and a teen, I used to love the stretch of a long, summer day with nothing to do and nowhere to go.  Now it makes me panic.  I almost shake in fear.  “I have to do something.  I have to be productive.”   It’s ridiculous, and that’s why I need summer so that with James Dent, I can say,  A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken

May your summer find many opportunities to be respectably lazy.

Dan Chambers

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