Thought for the month
“On the seventh day God finished the work he had done… blessed the day and hallowed it…” Genesis 2.2-3
As I write I am looking forward to August and a holiday – a holyday.
The opening stories of creation tell us with poetic imagery of six days of intense creative work. A metaphorical account of the wonder of creation. But after all this activity we are given this pattern of a time of rest. A time to stop, be still and drink in the wonder of all that is around us.
In our twenty-four-hour culture when we can keep working with our iPads and phones wherever we are it can be hard to resist the temptation to keep working 24/7. As a ministry team each August we try to follow God’s gentle way of rest by reducing the number of services we do and keeping meetings to the bare minimum.
I remember in my previous life as a solicitor running my own legal practice, speaking to another sole practitioner who never had holidays, he could never let go and allow someone else to do his work. His voice betrayed his resulting stress.
Ancient spiritual wisdom of the bible and other religions, and the current vogue for mindfulness all remind us of the need to take holy time – to let go of our business, our work, and to simply drink in the wonder of our world and be thankful.
I hope this August however busy you are with work, with children, with elderly parents and demanding work, you can find the time to let it all go for a day or two, sip a glass of wine with a friend, lie in the garden and listen to the birds, or the waves lapping on a beach. Or simply find time for a siesta every day. I wrote a poem one holiday in Spain which I hope captures such a moment to bless the day and hallow it – have a holyday.
Siesta in MadridThat hot afternoon in Madridwe never paced the Prado, but lay on dusty cloverwatching the unexpected glintof silver birch leaves rustlingin a soft breath of a breeze,under a clear blue sky Not touching in that sauna heatbut listening, together, to theconstant cascade of four fountainsas they burst up to the sky, meetingtheir falling selves tumbling backagain – and again – and again.
© Pat Bhutta