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August 2014 – St Mary’s Great Chart & Singleton
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August 2014

Like many people we take our major annual holiday in August.

A time to rest and relax and re-charge our batteries for a return to work.  Rest and relaxation I believe are a vital part of our lives.  When God created the world He set aside a whole day at the end of the week for rest.  Not that God needs to rest, but He rested to give us a pattern to rest.  Being in a job like an increasing number of people where I work weekends, I have to think hard to ensure I do take a day off every week, and like many others in this busy demanding world I do not always manage it.  But holidays like days off are not just a time to sit around and do nothing.  Some years ago I tried to establish a pattern of ensuring a day off contained 3 elements.  Some time to relax certainly – maybe just to sit, or to read, or to watch a film.  Secondly I try to get out somewhere even if just to pop into town for a short while (shopping always has to be done!).  And thirdly I try to do something active – gardening, cutting the lawn, cutting firewood (which also needs to be done!) or maybe going for a brisk or long walk.  I’m not a sportsman so that isn’t part of my time off!

I have found all these things are important for time off.

If I spend the whole day sitting around and doing nothing I don’t feel rested.

If I spend the whole day out and about I don’t feel rested.

If I spend the whole day doing something energetic I certainly don’t feel rested

But if I try to get a balance of all 3 I usually do feel the benefit of a day off.

So on holiday too I try to make these 3 aspects part of my time whether it’s for a week or two or more,

So that I find I can catch up on some sleep, reading and watching TV as well as just talking with the family.

I can get out and visit places but not spend the whole week trying to pack as many visits in to as many places as possible.

And I can hopefully do some walking or swimming or some other physical activity.

And then this always challenges me back in my working days.

If I can I try to incorporate these three aspects into every working day, but it isn’t always possible of course. Holidays and days off are vital to our rhythms and patterns  of living.  That is I believe how we are created. But holidays and days off are not just for sitting around doing nothing. Interesting as we look ahead in our loves to when this early life is ended. Heaven is not a place of inactivity and idleness. It is a place of praise and worship of God. It is a place of ‘eternal rest’ yes but that is active. And in heaven we will no longer be worn out and tired by the pressures and hard work of life.

I enjoy my days off and holidays, but they need as much planning and attention as any other time that we have in this wonderful life God has given us.


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