I hope you all had a lovely summer. It has certainly been sunny this year. I’ve enjoyed the chance to sit out in the evenings and the opportunity to rediscover get out all those summer clothes I‘ve not worn in ages.
It always pleases me how when the sun comes out and the temperature rises, two things seem to happen – people smile more and everyone slows down. Somehow it is harder to be busy or stressed when the weather is so warm and the sunshine calls you outside… It seems much more acceptable to just switch off and I often found myself lounging around in the garden with nothing particular to do. As I went round the village, there’d be families in the park under the trees, people on benches by the bowling green, kids chatting on walls and the smell of bbqs in the air. With the lazy goodwill of summer days, it’s easier not to care too much about the things I maybe worry about in colder weather. I also found it became easier to pray when my thoughts were free to meander in whichever way they wanted, rather than juggling all the various day to day things we fill our minds with. Autumn of course will be beautiful, but cooler, wetter and for most of us, busier, as September always seems to herald new starts.
Looking at my diary, things are booking up faster and faster and it will soon seem as though the lazy, leisurely days never even happened. But is that a good way to live? It is not particularly balanced! Perhaps I need to allow some of my summer habits to creep into the autumn days and disrupt the busyness a bit more. Taking a bit of time out might mean more smiles and less frantic activity and a closer connection to God – wouldn’t be a bad thing!
In a rather famous poem from an ancient book of the Bible called Ecclesiastes, the writer notes that” for everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven”. He lists the important stuff – a time to be born, a time to die, a time to weep, a time to dance- and so on, but I think it applies to the day to day just as much.
Perhaps there should be…
A time to enjoy a cup of tea and a time to boil the kettle for a friend
A time to take phone calls and a time to divert to ansafone
A time to rush around cleaning and a time to let the dust settle
A time to worry about what’s for tea and a time to open that tin of beans
A time to “get things done” and a time to wonder whether those” things” need doing
A time to do things for God and a time to simply be with God
So if you see me on a sun lounger in the garden, wrapped up in blankets, I might be trying to recreate something of the peaceful nature of the summer holidays!