Most people have hobbies. Some folks collect stamps, or bottles, or used chewing gum. Other folks like to kayak or spend weekends climbing mountains. Me? Not only do I minister to people through the Retooled and Refueled seminar, but I like radio and old time rock n’ roll. As a kid I hung out at the stations near my home. By my teens I was on-air “spinning the records” myself. I worked at various radio stations during college in the 1970s. Then, for a few decades I owned a record label and a radio production company. For a while in the 1990s we did Coast to Coast Gold, a nationally syndicated show where I got to play the old music and interview the folks who’d made it.

It goes without being said that I liked some of the music, I loathed some of it, and I loved a little bit of it. There are a few select songs from that magical era that will always be a heartbeat away from my lips. Something special happened when those particular songs hit the record grooves—and music was born that will never die.

It was the hot summer of 1966 when one of the coolest records of all time hit #1. The song was from a new group called The Happenings (how much more 1960s could a band’s name be?). You know how some songs take a while to grow on you? You have to hear them several times before you begin to like (or should I say, dig) them.

It wasn’t that way for me with this song. This one was special. Maybe you remember it. It was called “See You in September.” It’s the story of a young man who is about to leave school for the summer. He is asking his girlfriend if she will stay true to him while they are apart. He reminds her that he will be by himself every night. Then he asks her to remember him and to write often. He encourages her to have fun, but begs her not to flirt with other guys. Finally, he concludes with the haunting question, “Will I see you in September, or lose you to a summer love?”

When I first heard this song, my adolescent mind pictured a star-crossed couple as they said goodbye for the summer, and the boy as he asked his girlfriend to stay true and return to him in September. But one day something far more profound donned on me. This is exactly what Jesus is saying to us. He’s telling us of his desire to be united with each of us. And he’s reminding us that while we’re separated (the physical from the eternal) he wants us to stay in touch. He longs for us to “write,” or pray regularly. He wants to hear all the details of our lives. He wants to know when we’ve had a bad day—or a good one. He’s concerned when we’re sick, or worried, or lonely. He wants to know when a relationship has fallen apart.

Also, he really wants us to have a good time during our “summer” here on earth. Jesus is no killjoy. He loves for us to drink in the joys and taste the delicious beauties he has left for us. But, at the same time, he wants us to remember that in everything that is good, there is potential for evil. He doesn’t want us to fall in love with the here and now. He doesn’t want us to develop a “summer love” for the things of this world and become distracted from his call on our lives.

This is the message of Jesus to all of us: And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:10-14, NIV)

So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long as it’s still God’s today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn’t slow down your reflexes. If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we’re in this with Christ for the long haul. (Hebrews 3:14-14, The Message)