The recent weeks of warm weather have reminded me that summer is not far away. There is something about warm sunny days, clear blue skies, and beckoning beaches, that pushes the ‘contentment’ button. A summer day out in the open brings out the best in most of us. Unfortunately, no one knows what summer will bring this year. The main uncertainty used to be the weather. Will it be rainy, or conversely, will it be too dry, (accompanied by the inevitable ‘hosepipe ban’)? But this year our uncertainty is more one of will we be allowed out to enjoy it. Rain or shine, will we be able to share with friends, laze on a beach, walk the hills, have a b-b-q with the neighbours, or buy an ice cream? The present pandemic and social distancing mean that our feelings are ‘far from easy’.
One summer, quite a few years ago, (37!), I was docked in New Orleans for a couple of weeks. It was hot and humid. There was no nearby beach to beckon but there was the ‘French Quarter’ nearby, with vibrant bars, cool beer, and the competing strains of New Orleans jazz. I’m sure they reserved some of the classics for tourists but no hot humid night in a New Orleans Jazz Club is complete without sipping, or slurping, a ‘Hurricane cocktail’ to the melodious background of ‘Summertime.....’ The Hurricane Cocktail is a heady mix of dark and white rum, orange juice, passion fruit and grenadine – It is not for the unadventurous! Neither is the jazz for the unadventurous, combining as it does Southern Blues and elements of the old Spirituals. Looking back it all seemed so carefree.
I doubt that ‘feeling carefree’ is a common experience in our present uncertain times, but God’s Love, God’s promises, and God’s Word, remain an absolute certainty. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.(1Peter 5:7), or as it says in the Living Translation, ‘Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you’. Unlike the vagaries of summer, giving your anxieties to God, can result in you ‘feeling easy’.
Enjoy the song….. because even if you are not a fan of New Orleans style Southern Blues, as one of the lines has it, ‘One of these mornings you're gonna rise up singing’.