Rebecca's letter for July/August

Are you a human being or a human doing?

I wonder if you have ever thought about this before? Some people spend a lot of their time rushing around doing lots of things... work, child care, leisure activities, DIY, visiting families and friends, spending time on committees and voluntary organisations. They are all good and worthwhile ways in which to spend our time, and we can’t imagine life without them. However, sometimes, it can all seem to get a bit much. When do we get time for ourselves, for me or for God?

There’s a story in Luke’s gospel about when Jesus went to visit his friends Mary and Martha. Martha was the one who was busy getting everything ready for Jesus’ visit: cooking, laying the table, and probably cleaning the house and shopping before-hand. What was her sister Mary doing while all this was going on? Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Jesus. And Martha is annoyed. It doesn’t seem fair that she is doing all the hard work while Mary seems to be relaxing enjoying herself! I’m sure this scenario is familiar to us (either from the Bible or in life!). Martha complains to Jesus, as if to expect him to support her and get Mary to help with all the work. But Jesus commends Mary. She has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her. Luke 10:42.

Recently, I was fortunate to be able to go away for the inside of a week on a retreat. It was a wonderful time just to “be”. No sermons to write, meetings to attend, reports or magazine articles to write (well they had to wait until I got home!). Just time to rest, read a good spiritual book, pray in the chapel, reflect, go for walks in the country, eat and sleep. It did me good. I was able to get some perspective on life, step back a bit and try and listen to God. This is important for all of us, not just for vicars. We may not all be able to get away for long, or even at all. But I hope we can find some time for God in the middle of our busy lives. Or indeed, if we’re not so busy in the summer, that is a good time to sit and to be, enjoy a good book, sit in the garden, enjoy the countryside, enjoy the world God has made for us to enjoy.

Give thanks to God for all that he has blessed us with in our lives and take time to consider who you are before him. After all, who we are is more important, in the end, than what we do.

With every blessing for a happy and restful summer.

Rebecca Harris


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