How time races by. As I write this article in mid-August, it is raining cats and dogs (an old phrase referring to
cats and dogs being washed out of thatched roofs during a storm and clambering for dryer places). This summer we have had a mix of weather which has played havoc in the garden. It was really warm to start with followed by a deluge of rain. The weeds are having a field day as you would expect, the field events at the World Athletics Championships are very wet and cold and the athletes are all rushing around in the rain pursuing medals and their personal bests.
So here we are in the midst of late summer with much to look forward to yet this year. Hopefully some more sunshine is waiting for us and still more time to reflect on where we have been and where we want to be in the months ahead.
One of the things I have learnt recently is that life can be too busy as we try to catch up with ourselves. I have been doing just that: rushing here and there but maybe not enjoying myself as much as I should. People close to me have been telling me to slow down - but how do I heed this? I am not sure. However there is one good role model I can guarantee will help me, his name is Jesus. He who pulled back on a regular basis to reflect and to regain his stability.
As we move towards September it is important to stop for a while and reflect and not just go rushing into Autumn. We should take time to look at where we are and where we want to be. We need to ask ourselves how we could change our personal or family routine to find more time and space for each other? What changes could we make, in ourselves, so that we can serve each other better? Where can we find a little more time to fit God into our lives and wonder at his creation and all that He has for us? And how can we make our churches grow and be places that people really want to join and benefit from so that our attendance is not just part of a weekly routine.
Jesus took time to go away from the crowd and spend time with his Father, taking stock, recharging his batteries and planning for the future. So it must be even more important for us to do it. We don't need to be victims of every change that presents itself in life when, with some wise reflection, we can make better decisions about how to cope with challenges. Going on and on and hitting every obstacle in our lives without taking time out to recover can be unnnecessarily exhausting.
Wishing you many wise, peaceful ansd calm responses to the challenging times in your everyday life. Carol Neilson.