Time for a breather!

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Collection of sunglasses on the beach

From the Manse...

One of the joys of going on holiday is the opportunity to see new things and to enlarge our horizons. Getting away from the ordinary and the everyday allows us to do just that. Whether a day out, a weekend away, time with family who live in a different part of the country, or a lengthy trip abroad, we make the most of these excursions, enjoying the change of being in a different environment.

I remember during my time running the 'Religious Education Resources Project" in London, going on a number of school journeys (The Isle of Wight, Yorkshire and Devon) and seeing how the children revelled in their new surroundings. This for me was always a highlight of those trips.

To see youngsters who had never been to the countryside visit a farm and get close to the animals, or be overwhelmed by the grandeur of Osborne House, or paddle in the sea that they had only ever seen on the television was great to witness. These new experiences opened their eyes to a bigger world, with new horizons.

We all have our favourite places. Places we have been to in the past, visited whilst on holiday or on a day out. Places that had a huge impact on us and which will always be special to us, whether they be cathedrals that seem to stretch up to eternity itself or landscapes which speak of the creative power of God.

Sometimes though it is hard to see the wood because of the trees. Although our eyes are open we do not always see the bigger picture and the wider vista because we do not allow ourselves to take that step back.

Everyone needs a rest, a break, time out and time off. It is no accident that at the end of creating the world, God rested, establishing for us the pattern of work and rest which is so necessary and which we neglect at our peril.

As we come to the summer period in our church year, let us take a step back from the busyness of these past months to help us see again the bigger picture, so that we do not lose sense of that wider perspective.

For when we look at the bigger picture, when we allow ourselves to see all that is before us, we will like the Psalmist, find our praise to God ascending heavenwards as we give thanks for all that is around us.

May we all find this summer a time of rest, reflection and re-creation.

With love and God Bless,

Keith

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