I was driving in my car recently, hurrying to an appointment. I passed by a cemetery near our home. The groundskeeper was there, a man whom I had often seen cutting the grass, trimming around headstones.

But at this moment he was sitting quietly on a stone wall, in the shade beneath a towering pine tree, and gazing over the final resting place of many who had lived in that area. Though I saw only the groundskeeper’s back, nevertheless he communicated clearly with me.

His message? Slow down; take time to appreciate life.

It’s so easy for us to get caught up in busy-ness. We act as though life were some sort of competition we were trying to win. Sitting there surrounded by the gravestones, the groundskeeper reminded me that life is not a game. It is a wonderful gift. It is sweet and it is bitter. It is mysterious and holy. If we try to reduce it to a game, we can only lose.

Life is to be savored. One minute of real awareness is worth more than a week of frenzy.

This summer I hope that each of us will have an opportunity to “time out” from the hectic pace of life.

I hope we will be able to look with fresh eyes at what is going on all around us and within us. I hope we will not make vacation such a great undertaking that we return home wearier than when we left.

And when we do reach an open, restful place, let’s invite the Holy to rest with us there.

How might you create some space in which to connect with the Ultimate Reality in your life? Lingering over a passage of scripture or a selection from a book of devotions helps. So does meditation-perhaps you’d be interested in one of the mindfulness programs offered by our friends at the Copper Beech Institute http://www.copperbeechinstitute.org . Retreat centers offer three day and weeklong programs-check out what Holy Family http://www.holyfamilyretreat.org , Genesis http://genesisspiritualcenter.org , and Mercy Center http://www.mercybythesea.org have to offer.

Been a while since you had spiritual direction? Why not give your director a call-I’m sure that he or she would be glad to hear from you. Need a director? Let me know and we’ll arrange it.

And let me know when you are going to be at the Center so that we can have a cup of tea and discuss what the Spiritual Life Center means to you, how you’d like to be involved, and how, together, we can help nurture awareness of the Spirit within all people.

I pray that this summer will be a time of spiritual renewal for each one of you.