Holidays?

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Holidays are here again! I can tell by the reduced traffic in the street and the summer sales in the shops. (The lateness of this blog may reflect lazy summer days too).  Summer holidays are part of the pattern of the school year and part of the dream tourist and travel businesses try to sell us.

But what do holidays mean to you and me?  It may be you cannot afford to go on holiday, or cannot find the time. If you have just arrived as a refugee you may not want to risk leaving the country in case the authorities don’t let you back. On your own you may not like the idea of travelling as a single in a holiday season that seems aimed at couples and families. Babies and children at home, or adult children and grandchildren coming to visit may make this a tense and exhausting period.

Yet the original ideas: of holy days to remember God, to have a celebration and to change the pattern of life; and of the sabbath to pause on a weekly (or other) basis so as to have a change of rhythm, these are good ideas.

So how can we draw from them? How can we make the next two months times of growth and renewal?Create whatever you have the energy and time for, here are some thoughts to get you started:

  • How do you build God into your holiday plans? Seek God in nature, use different bible study notes, or don’t use them at all but find a different way of structuring your prayer time. Walk instead of sitting, sing instead of speaking, listen instead of talking.
  • Enjoy celebrating yourself, your friends and your family (even if they are annoying at times!) Practice an ‘attitude of gratitude’ for whatever and whoever turns up.
  • Change your rhythm. London cockneys used to leave their slums and shops to work in the fields at harvest time – not a rest, but a change of pace, of air, of neighbours. What can you change? (If you cannot take your annual break in the next two months, make sure a change of pace is factored in at some point in the year.)
  • Create your own sabbath: it might not be every 7 days (try 1 minute an hour!), but make it a pause that is a holy time.

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