• St George & St Paul, Tiverton

Flavour Your Life!

Life feeling a little bland? Here's our latest blog post from our Vicar Andy, about the importance of adding a little flavour to your life.

Last week I travelled to Plymouth to St. Melitus, a theological college which has bases across the country and is where our Ordinand Sarah is being equipped, taught and supported, whilst she trains for ministry.


I decided to go by train, as it was quicker, easier and surprisingly cheaper! It was my first train journey in a number of years and gave me time to reflect, read and write.


The journey was straightforward, uncomplicated and on time!


I started my sermon for that weekend, I read and caught up on a journal article I had not had time to finish and I let myself stare out of the window at the scenery speeding by. The green fields, quickly turned into a busy city station and then onto coastline and still water, before back into cityscapes once more.


The words in John 10:10 came to me where Jesus says, 'The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows - AMPC].' This is one of those passages which sits in my soul a lot! I am grateful for the thoughts of Joyce Meyer in some of my reflection below.


As I wrestled with what to say in my sermon about money, I was reminded that Jesus came so that you and I may enjoy our lives!


I can be a very task-oriented person and really like the work of leading church and getting things done. However, the Lord showed me a long time ago the importance of slowing down and making time to do some of the other things I enjoy doing (although, I am not always that good at doing what I know I should! How about you?).


I can hear you say "but Andy, I have things to do. I have obligations. I can’t just go through each day doing what sounds like fun!" I’m not saying that you stop meeting your obligations and responsibilities, but I am saying that you add flavour to your life by working in some things that you enjoy.


Let me give you a few places to begin...


1. Identify what you enjoy doing

Do you know that most people would hesitate if you asked them, “What do you do for fun?” Many people are so busy and so burdened that they stopped having fun a long time ago...and they don’t know how to start again.


For instance, if you enjoy playing music, when was the last time you played? If you love a good cup of coffee, why not sit down and enjoy that next cup rather than gulping it down on your way to work?


Take a few minutes to identify what you enjoy...and then let yourself enjoy it.


2. Don’t wait on 'when'

So many people have the mind-set that they will be really happy and enjoy life 'when...' (When they go on holiday, when the children are older, when they get a promotion at work...)


We tend to put things in categories. We can look at the calendar and think, This is a 'no-fun' day. However, God isn’t like that! He has joyful moments planned for us each and every day. When we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to direct our steps, life is always an adventure!


3. Schedule time to do what you enjoy

This is something I really need to learn, I do not do this often enough.


Use your calendar as your ally, instead of letting it become your enemy.


Perhaps you really can’t stop what you’re doing right now to go have some fun. But let’s be honest—for most of us, if we don’t actually schedule some time to do something fun or relaxing, it will never happen.


Finish what you are committed to right now, but start planning some fun-time into your future. Even knowing a break is coming soon, will help you now. 4. Include God in everything!

Ultimately, it’s so important to remember that true joy begins by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In John 15:11, He says, "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full."


In the ten verses leading up to this one, Jesus is talking about 'abiding' in Him, because that’s the key to living with joy. This may sound super-spiritual, but abiding simply means 'to live, dwell and remain in.'


As I sat on that train I realised I don’t spend enough time just abiding with God. He doesn’t just want you to seek Him when you go to church or when you’re desperate. His desire is to have a personal relationship with you, so that you can experience His presence in everything you do. Next time I travel I am going to strive to do less, to enjoy the moment and seek the abundance that God longs for me.


Every blessing Andy (Vicar)


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