What's your favourite way to unwind? Let us know in the comments below! Here's one our Licensed Lay Ministers, Jude, with our latest blog post on the important of rest.
This week my mind has been a jumble of thoughts and feelings. With such unusual but lovely weather for half term holidays, our family on beaches in West Wales and Cornwall and in between gardening, jobs, being with grandchildren and planning for the new sermon series on God's Big Picture. The thread linking all this, is that in busy lives, we all have a great need of rest and time out, to just 'be' and recharge our batteries. Without enough rest, we are like a car battery going flat...going nowhere fast, and if like me you have a smartwatch, my Garmin app tells me each morning how much I have charged up my body battery overnight. If it's not enough, it warns me to take the day a little easier - a nice thought (but not always possible)!
Our new sermon series looks at Genesis, and there in the first few chapters, God gets that message of rest straight in there.
When we have a long 'To do' list and pressure for deadlines, we often just try to carry on regardless, but God understands fully the limits to our bodies which He created, and as we press on, bits of us begin to begin to splutter, like a car engine without a service. God has a bucket list for each of us that He wants us to experience, so here are a few things that we might experiment with, to understand what helps us to rest and make better choices.
As part of my Spiritual Awareness course, we have looked at St Ignatius and his idea of Examen. In recent months, It has been a bit of an eye opener.
I have always tried to keep a Journal, not always consistently I must say, but enough to be fascinating to look back on where God has been at work. With this idea of Examen, you record each evening where you feel God was present in that day, what you feel grateful for and what you are least grateful for.
Over the weeks, you can see through what gives you peace and sustains you, and what doesn't. What you might need to let go of, and what you can develop. In doing that, you can discover where God might want to lead you.
For me, I know that being outside in nature or gardening is my resting place and more specifically being by the sea, with the smell of seaweed and the wind in my face. I am rested and restored in that and feel closer to God in those hours, but also through Examen, I can begin to make better choices in where I am active and working. I hope this week you manage to find your resting places and what God has in his bucket list for you!
Enjoy the sun and blessings to you all,
Jude Licensed Lay Minister