Time for a rest

I’m tired!  I don’t know about you?  And yet I am getting up later and going to bed earlier than I was accustomed to before the pandemic struck.  I’m travelling less, indeed I still have an almost full tank of petrol and have had to call out the AA three times because the battery has died!  I’m at home principally, but my working day has got fuller and more demanding as time has gone on.

So, I’m planning a holiday!  A retreat and some study leave.  Having been ordained 24 years I have yet to have a period of sabbatical and I’m looking forward to it!  It is not going to take the form I would have planned.  There will not be the opportunity of a trip overseas or a residential conference to attend, but there will be plenty of time for family, rest, reading and reflection.

What about you?  I know some of you might be feeling that our children have had one big holiday at home since lockdown but I can assure you that they, their parents and their teachers have all been working hard to ensure that learning can continue even though the normal patterns have been disturbed.  Whether we have been working from home, furloughed or feeling alone in isolation, each of us will I expect have experienced something of the sense of weariness that heightened anxiety, change of routine and uncertain expectation brings.

So I want to encourage you to take some time off.  There’s a fabulous little children’s story called, Jesus’ Day Off, which you might like read as an example of the need for even the Creator to re-create.  The example of Sabbath rest which our Creator God offers us in the opening chapters of the Bible, speak to us of the need for taking time to put down the tools of work and take space to reflect and rest.

We have spent the past few months in lockdown in order to keep ourselves physically healthy.  Let’s make sure that in these next few months we attend as much to our spiritual and emotional health, by discovering sabbath rest!

With every blessing

Bishop Ruth

The article was sent to parish magazine editors for the August 2020 edition of their magazines.

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