Summer Holidays

As I write this it is the morning of the Fourth Round of Wimbledon and at the moment we still have two Brits in the running for the title – Andy Murray and Jo Konta – I thought I would write this now, not later on in the tournament – there’s no point in tempting fate!

Tennis is one of the few sports which I enjoy watching; and Wimbledon, is, for me, one of those events which marks the official arrival of the summer season. We’ve been blessed this year with particularly lovely weather and it has been wonderful to be outside and to enjoy the sun; and, in common, with many people who work and study at school and college, I am also on the countdown to the six week school holiday – only nine more ‘get-ups’ to go!

I remember when I was a child that the school summer holidays seemed incredibly endless – amazingly, the days seemed to stretch out and to go on and on – a time of lazing around and enjoying not having particularly much to do. Now I’m a grown-up and have to do lots of other things to fill my time – not least, my work at Furzebank – the six week stretch seems to fly by and to be almost over as soon as it’s begun! However, I am fortunate in that I will be having some time off with my family and the chance to go on holiday and to get away from it all. These opportunities are really important – to be able to spend quality moments with Keith, Charlotte and Louis; for us all to be able to relax away from all the pressures of work and of school; and to be able to enjoy one another’s company without the demands of work and study hanging over all the time.

 

Whether we go away on holiday or simply enjoy time relaxing at home, it is important for our mental and physical health to have times of rest and relaxation. It is also, I believe, important for our spiritual health as well. In the recent Soul Spark Course that some of us have been undertaking at Furzebank, we have talked a lot about the important of making time to be still and to reflect, and of making space for God and listening for God’s voice. In the busyness of our daily lives, the still, small voice of God can often be drowned out; and it is often when we are on holiday and enjoying a break, that God is finally able to get a word in edgeways and we can benefit from more time to pray and read the Bible and to focus on God’s love and desire for us to experience life in all its fullness.

 

During his earthly ministry, Jesus made it a priority to escape the demands of the crowds – even the demands of his own disciples – and sought out places of quiet where he could pray and be alone with God. The Gospels are full of verses describing Jesus doing this; and if he, the Son of God, needed opportunities for prayer and rest, how much more do we!

 

So whatever you are doing this Summer – whether you are going away or enjoying time at home; let us pray that each one of us will be able to find moments to be still, to be peaceful and to listen to God’s voice of love speaking to us and surrounding us with kindness, mercy and grace.

 

Wishing you all ‘A Very Happy Summer Holiday!’

 

Revd. Helen Duckett.

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