I am writing this as we prepare to take a break and head north for a place with little WiFi and even less phone signal! Going on holiday in our house requires a level of preparation that I suspect some would find unnecessary and the creation of several spreadsheets to ensure that nothing is forgotten, that we know when the changes in driver will take place and when we can stop to eat!! It has become something of a standing joke, but we do usually seem to end up arriving at our destination in good shape and ready to relax.
I recognise that this is not 'holiday season' for everyone and that there are those who do not have the luxury of 'getting away' at all. If you are in that position, then can I encourage you to vary the routine a little, if that is possible, and venture out to somewhere new to explore or somewhere familiar that holds good memories.
All this preparation, packing and travelling reminds me of a verse in one of the hymns in Singing the Faith:
'Don't get too set in your ways,'
The Lord said,
'Each step is only a phase,'
The Lord said,
'I'll go before you and I shall be a sign
To guide my travelling, wandering race,
You're the people of God.'
So every day
We're on our way,
For we're a travelling, wandering race,
We're the people of God.
Estelle White (born 1925) © 1969 Stainer & Bell Ltd and McCrimmon Publishing Company Ltd Used By Permission. CCL Licence No. 558513 Copied from HymnQuest: Copyright Licence Users' Edition HymnQuest ID: 57930
It is said that human beings can be resistant to change, especially within the life of the church, but here we have a hymnwriter reminding us not to get set in our ways; that we go through many phases in life and that, as followers of God, we are a people on the move.
In common with many other denominations and other world religions, the Methodist Church spent some time at the recent Conference reflecting on what it means to be a person of faith in the 21st Century and the theme for this coming year is 'Radical Grace : Transforming Hope'. You can read a summary of the business from Conference here.
The Christian journey is just that, we know where our destination is; we know what the preparations are that need to be made before we arrive (see Micah 6:8 for details) and we know that we, just like Jesus, need to take time out to rest and be refreshed along the way. In this hot weather, it would do us good to relax in God's company, to be renewed by the Holy Spirit and to get ready for the next phase of the journey... Spreadsheets are not obligatory!!