The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA

A Summer of Self-Discovery

An article from the Cathedral Times 
By the Rev. Canon Lauren Holder


Every summer begins with a stack of books I hope to read. Not so much beach reads, because Lord know there’s no such thing as “reading” on a beach with two toddlers. No, my summer reading is usually something that speaks to faith, the human experience, or both. Often, these titles re-appear during the program year as material for Sunday School, Bible Study, or a retreat.

This year’s reads accidentally center around self-discovery. I didn’t plan it this way … a friend recommended one book, the Cathedral staff read another, one I had purchased before it was released, and one had just been sitting in my Audible account waiting for me to start listening. I’m currently halfway through the five titles, and my guess is I’ll only complete four of them. I never, ever, get through the whole stack.

Isn’t that the way with summer? It begins as a thing of lengthy hopefulness—the weeks stretch out long before us, the days get increasingly longer as we near the solstice, the possibilities are as endless as the cicada’s song.

Until suddenly the end is too near. It may be a month away, but it looms large nonetheless. All the things I had planned! All the hours I had anticipated! The sand in the hourglass seems to pick up speed.

That’s where I find myself right now. There’s still plenty of summer left, but the opposite feels true.

Do you feel it too?

If not—teach me your ways! But if so—let this be a gentle reminder that you may not get to read it all or do it all, but you will get to do enough. Indeed, you likely already have done enough. Consider what remains the icing on the cake—or perhaps more appropriately, the merigue on the key lime pie.

I think time contracts when we come from a place of scarcity—perhaps other things (love?) do as well. But time and life can expand once more when we come from a place of gratitude and abundance.


Lauren’s Reading List

  • Dear Church: A Love Letter From a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S., by Lenny Duncan
  • How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back, by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith
  • The Road Back To You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery, by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
  • The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships, by Suzanne Stabile
  • Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most Out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder, by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey