“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.”(1 John 4:16 NIV)
When I was a boy we lived across a river from the main road and the only way to get to our house was across an old, wooden, swinging bridge. We also lived right next to Camp Caesar which hosted camps all summer long. And the best thing about it was it had a public swimming pool. I remember spending almost every day of my summers at that pool. I would be there when the pool opened at 1 P.M. and swim until it closed at 5 P.M. Usually my brothers and a lot of my friends would be there too. We had so much fun laughing, playing, swimming, splashing, and going off the diving board.
One time, however, I went to the pool to find it crowded with strangers. None of my friends were there and mainly is was older parents with little children. I stayed for a while but felt lonely. I left early and walked home sad and sulky. When I got to the swinging bridge, though, I saw my one friend who was never allowed at the pool. He stood on the bridge with his face smiling and his tail wagging. It was my dog, Doobie patiently waiting for me to come home. I hurried across the bridge to hug him and then we both ran down to the river below our house to swim. We jumped into the cold, clear water. We swum around each other. We romped, splashed and played fetch with a stick in the shallows. And Doobie happily chased my loneliness away with his doggie kisses and gentle love. During all of those Summers spent swimming as a boy that is the day I remember the most.
The Summers in this life fly by so fast. They are too precious to waste a moment feeling sad or sulky. Let God’s love chase away your loneliness then. Spend your days here like my dear dog Doobie did: sharing love and scattering joy. And as you swim down this river of life always remember that LOVE awaits you at its end.
Joseph J. Mazzella