As I write this pastoral letter at the start of the summer months, many of us will be having a ‘break’ of some sort. Many of us describe ‘having time off’ as a ‘well earned’ or ‘well deserved’ rest. There are others, however, who never have a break. You hear them say, “Me? I’m far too busy!!…I have far too much to do!!”
I don’t know about you, but I seem to know when I need a ‘break’. It is when my mind, body and spirit are aching for some space to recuperate, to ‘energise my batteries’.
However, for many of us there seem to be two problems:
- Firstly, I am not good at taking care of myself! I feel guilty when I take my holidays! I know it’s ridiculous, but there it is!
- Secondly, I can remember a time in my life when holidays were a luxury. I could not afford to take any time off work because I needed the money to live on.
Nevertheless, it is during these periods of relaxation that God speaks to us.
I can recall an incident that caused me to reflect on God’s presence during a time of rest’. It happened while I was in a swimming pool. The warm water was caressing my skin, and the ripples were lapping against the sides of the pool. There was a family in the water with their daughter. As I looked more closely, I noticed that the daughter, about 5 years old, had learning and physical disabilities. Kara had cerebral palsy. She lay in the arms of her father and then her mother and they gazed lovingly into her eyes.
As I continued to swim, I reflected on the family and then the water, and how Jesus says, “I am the living water; those who come to me will never thirst.”
In that pool I felt supported and caressed by God’s love, protecting and nurturing me, just as Kara was with her father and mother. It was as I gazed into the shimmering waters of the pool that God showed me what his love for us is like.
If only we would give God space and allow God to bathe us in his love; if only we took time out to energise ourselves, then we would not feel guilty.
We can all think of ‘If only…’, and the biggest one is ‘If only I had the time!’ But what is more important than spending quality time with God?
- The God who loved us into being
- The God who loves us in spite of our busy-ness
- The God who loves us even though we are too preoccupied with ourselves.
Sometimes our lives are so busy that we unintentionally push God out to second or even third place. Yet we need to listen to God, and we can only do that if we give God time and space.
This year, as well as booking your holiday in the sun, or at the seaside, or in the country, or with family and friends… book some time with God.
The financial cost is nothing, the spiritual cost is everything. Can you really afford not to have a break with God?
With every blessing to you all,