Dear everyone, 

We have finally reached the summer hols.  Like the rest of you I am wondering what we are supposed to do with them this year.  Aside from getting out the buckets and spades, getting out those white legs and the Moses sandals (no socks), here are few suggestions from a faith perspective.

REFLECT:
The last four months have been challenging, like nothing we have ever experienced before.  Reflecting is like looking in a mirror, having a good look at your own reflection.  A mirror allows you also to look at what is behind you.  Be honest: fear, anxiety, loneliness, inability to cope, burning desire to go out and shop so you can hide all the anxiety under new sets of clothes or whatever.  We all react differently and cope differently, but it is important to reflect on what we do and how we feel, just in case any of it is not healthy or unhelpful.  Look at what Elijah said in a moment of reflection (1 Kings 19:3-5) Elijah…came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed…. “I have had enough, Lord,”…Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.  Now that is honesty before God and before himself!  Don’t make it up but be real.

RE-CREATE:
This is more difficult, because having a good oul moan is dead easy most of the time.  Re-creating is challenging because it may mean doing some things.  It is a bit like charging a battery or digging over the vegetable patch.  It is about putting back in some of the things that have worn out.  Look at some of the things Jesus did to be re-created.

  • At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place (Luke 4)
  • But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5)
  • Each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives (Luke 21)

Jesus intentionally spent time being re-created.  Here are some of the things I am going to do.  I have downloaded a new CD by a woman called Vicky Beeching (worship songs mostly).  I hope to know it off-by-heart by the end of August.  The first song is already buzzing in my head.  I started a book about God this week – two chapters done already – I am underlining things, turning down pages, letting it seep in.  Getting away from everyone is all part of this – it could be for an afternoon rather than a week.  But do it deliberately and write down the things you want to think about.  There must be lots more we could do as well.

RECOVER:
When you re-cover a sofa, you take off the old cover and put on a new one.  You would never dream of putting it over the old one.  As we face a new season there must be a few things that we would like to do better or that would help us face the future more productively or maybe less painfully.   You may only begin to realise what these are when you have done some reflecting and some re-creating.  So, allow an empty page at the back of your life to write some new things on.

  • Maybe join a huddle.
  • Re-budget your money and give more away (I am certainly spending less than I used to)
  • Some new timetable arrangements – more time with family, less in work, more in work, less in the shops, keep connected to those neighbours…whatever will be life-giving
  • Exercise
  • Bible
  • Paint
  • Read
  • Listen
  • Garden

There is no plan waiting out there for you personally, you have to invent it with God in one hand and with your own life in the other.  Let the two mix and see what comes out.  Try it and see.  You can always reflect, re-create and recover again next summer.

Have a great one!
Wish you were here,
Adrian and Janice