The dog days or dog days of summer are the hot, sultry days of summer. They were historically the period following the heliacal rising of the star Sirius, which Greek and Roman astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. They are now taken to be the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. — Wikipedia
How is your summer going? Mine is hot and getting hotter. I don’t do well with humidity, and our share of hot, humid days in SoCal has taken its toll. But it’s not just the heat that affects people.
Don’t get me wrong. I love summer, but when the spiritual battles in daily life get to an intense pitch it’s sometimes easier to simply blame it on the dog days of summer and forget about it.
Businesses can be slow, vacations (while often needed) interrupt the flow of things, and general social lethargy can make you wonder if there’s truly something powerful, in a negative way, about the dog days.
The Kean priests of Zeus as Rainmaker and Lord of Moisture observed annual sacrifices before the rise of Sirius to prevent scorching drought. This practice was credited to the culture hero Aristaeus. Aristotle mentions the proverbial heat of the dog days as part of his argument against an early formulation of evolution in his Physics. — Wikipedia
Of course, a lot of the history about dog days origin is based on mythology and a loose science of the times. The realization that there’s some shaky deduction involved in making a connection between the middle of summer and crazy times makes it easier to get real about the challenges we face.
I’ve recently been to church gatherings that involved a pool party and an after-service ice cream social and I thought, “That’s just like God. Isn’t it? He’s refreshing to the soul and He can be refreshing to the body as well!”
Here’s 3 ways to beat the dog days of summer (or any other malady) and chill (be victorious):
1. Quench your thirst. There’s really only one way to take care of that burning desire for something new and refreshing. First, pray to receive Christ into your heart and then believe that in His power you are made whole and good things will flow out of you.
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37,38)
2. Endure the heat until it passes. There will be times (summer or not) when it seems that there is no escaping the heat. The pressures of doing life on this planet can be very difficult to endure. Hard times are guaranteed for all of us. But enduring is what it’s all about. Like the marathoner who has to fight through discouragement in order to finish the race, keep battling the hard times until you, too, finish the race.
As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”
Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?”
Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come…
…But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:2-8) (Matthew 24:13)
3. Do not succumb to the world’s reasoning. Choose God’s’ wisdom. People may tell you all sorts of things about what they think is the solution to everything from summertime blues to real depression. However, beware! Use prayer and discernment to determine whether the counsel you receive is of God or of the world. Why should we be weary of the world’s advice? Because the earthly perspective doesn’t always match with what is good, right, and just.
…I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world and not the kind that appeals to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the secret wisdom of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.” — 1 Corinthians 2:6-9
So, my advice is to try and avoid mad dogs and be chill because God is our refreshment for eternity!