Relief from the Dog ‘Daze’ of Summer
Given the fact that Oak Chapel resides in an agricultural community, it only makes sense for us to pay attention to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, especially when it comes to the “Dog Days of Summer.” This 40-day period, which runs from July 3 through August 11 and coincides with the dawn rising of Sirius (the Dog Star), marks what is traditionally the most intense heat of the summer.
Whether one chooses to believe that or not is up to each individual, but it is hard to argue with the excessively high temperatures of this past week, which reached into the 90s and produced heat indexes close to 100 degrees.
One thing we can agree on is that the summer heat often produces a sort of listlessness or “daze,” during which we are not as alert or attentive as we normally are. This provides a perfect opportunity for temptation to creep in because our energy and incentive to combat it are compromised.
While we are wise to be especially alert during the height of summer, temptation is a threat in all seasons. That’s why it is important to be vigilant at all times. Even those things that appear to be harmless distractions can lead to deeper and darker dangers.
So, how do we stay on guard? Well, air conditioning always helps, but there is another, more effective, form of refreshment that comes through the resplendent Word of God. Engaging Scripture and reflecting on devotions are healthy and invigorating exercises that keep the mind sharp and the temptations at bay, but communal worship and study with a fellowship of believers is even more powerful.
I have not been active in Bible Studies throughout my life. In fact, I have been woefully deficient in that area. However, I finally took time to join our Monday morning Bible study at Oak Chapel a few months ago, and I have been incredibly blessed by the experience. Sharing, discussing, and debating the Word of God among a group of believers is a healthy exercise that strengthens and fortifies the soul, while forcing temptation to the periphery. Likewise, worship can be a powerful antidote to the desires of the flesh.
There are a number of Scriptural passages that give testimony to God’s promise of spiritual protection. One of my favorites comes from II Timothy 4:18: “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”
None of us is perfect, but all of us are protected when we stand strong in our faith. Such a practice will prevent the Dog Days from becoming the Dog “Daze,” regardless of the time of year.
Until we meet again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John