I’m in the north of Devon. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the petals on the magnolia outside my window are fluttering in the breeze. Ah, the breeze….. straight from the North Pole, it seems and putting an edge on the otherwise idyllic scene.
Easter has come and gone. Now is traditionally the time when those Christians actually paid to run things in churches try to fit in a little downtime. And very thankful I am to be able to spend a few days in such a beautiful place as this.
Have you noticed, though, how easy it is to take our ‘work’ with us? I don’t mean we physically lug files and laptops across the country or out into the garden or wherever – though, yes, I have accessed a computer to write this. No, we carry with us whatever our responsibility may be. In our heads. In our feelings.
It’s actually very difficult these days to switch off completely. Media and mobile devices are with us all the time. Jobs are less secure. If we’re on leave, others aren’t.
It’s very easy to live in a permanently jittery state. That’s partly why many like to go abroad. You’re definitely ‘away’. TV and radio are (hopefully) unintelligible. Even the time-zone is most likely not the same.
But even wih all these aids to separation, some of us still battle with anxiety. What’s going on back at base? What will we find when we return? Those sorts of thoughts.
Quite pointless when you think about it – worry. Jesus actually forbade his disciples to indulge in it. “What’s the point?” he said. “You can’t alter you size or your age by worrying! Those are both things that change naturally.. So, if you can’t do much about those, why bother to be anxious about trickier things? Do what you have to do, but please don’t stress about it.”
‘So what am I meant to do instead?’ we might respond.
“You’ve got a Father in heaven who loves you,” says Jesus. “He’s in charge. Trust Him. Relax. Whether you’re working or resting, be at peace.”
I sit back from this computer and look out of the window. Hmmm, it’s clouded over. Not only cold but maybe wet.
Still………… “Father, thank You for today. Thank You for this place that I’m in. Thank You for the good things that You have lined up for me. Thank You that, although I’m facing a longish drive and plenty of work, that’s all tomorrow. This is the day you’ve given me. Thank You for everything that I’m going to need – today.”
By Nigel O’Dwyer, who lives and works in Worthing – most of the time.