From The Manse: Summer 2008
As I write this letter, I am in the midst of preparing to go on holiday! By the time you have read it, I’ll have been, enjoyed time in fresh surroundings, returned, and will probably still be trying to clear the backlog of emails, telephone calls and letters created by going on holiday in the first place! Sometimes you wonder if it is worth it!!
Of course, we all know that everyone needs a holiday – some time off – a change from the norm. But often it can be such a fraught time. Whilst it is meant to be a time for rest and relaxation, we often fill it with all those things we’d like to do, or places to see, or jobs we don’t get time for during our normal day to day life.
Holiday is a contraction of ‘holy’ and ‘day’ – i.e. special religious days. But this word has evolved by general usage to mean any special day of rest (as opposed to regular days of rest such as the weekend). In our world today it often seems that everything is done at breakneck speed and there are no special days of rest any more; no periods of ‘timeout’ when we can recharge our batteries, take stock, and re-prioritise things.
Yet we know that even Jesus took time off to be by himself, to reflect, to pray, and to get things back into focus – and for good reason. Everywhere he went during his ministry, he drew crowds of people wanting to hear him speak, wanting to touch him and be healed by him. Now, whilst he was fully divine, he was also fully human and therefore must have needed to escape from the pressures of life at times; so whilst on holiday I will be aiming to dutifully follow the example of Christ – trying to regroup and get life back into focus.
Over the summer, our church will be taking some ‘time off’ – not exactly holiday – but a break from the meetings and groups that would normally happen on a regular basis. It is a chance to enjoy long lazy evenings in the garden or maybe take a break away somewhere different. I pray that we will all be able to find a space to find refreshment and to relax and recharge the batteries during this time.
Yours in Christ,