I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:14 (NIV)
“The Dog Days of Summer” is an expression that one hears often in baseball. The phrase comes from the very challenging days of playing baseball in the heat of the summer. Not only are players contending with the heat, but they are also contending with the length of the baseball season. The excitement of the beginning of the season has certainly waned, and the end of the season with championships on the line is too far away to make a difference. Added to this is the sad reality that some teams recognize that their championship hopes have all but been shattered. Championships are won or lost in these “dog days of summer.”
I suspect that the Christian experiences our own version of the “dog days of summer.” The main difference is that the Christian’s “dog days” can come in almost any season of life. The newness of conversion unfortunately loses excitement, and the daily battle with sin and circumstances makes our ultimate reward seem so distant.
How does the Christian survive the dog days? Apostle Paul seems to give us a good word: “Press on.” We must press on in our walk with Christ. We must strengthen ourselves for these difficult times with the spiritual disciplines of reading the Word, prayer, Scripture memorization, worship, and fellowshipping with other believers. We must go back to that calling we remember in our conversion. We must remain focused on our ultimate destination in Heaven.
Just as we quench our thirst with water in these hot summer days, let us realize that we need that same kind of replenishment for our thirsty souls.