Summer Holiday


                                                                                   Summer holiday 

What a summer it has been so far!  The country lurching towards Brexit, heroics in the World Cup from England and the longest spell of warm dry weather in decades. Still, at least for many there are the holidays to look forward to. Who doesn’t like going on holiday? Well, even with 70.8 million trips made abroad by Brits each year, a surprising number of people do not like to go away or cannot.

If truth be told, I find preparing to go on holiday stressful. Firstly there is the agreeing where to go. Everyone has different preferences. I like the traditional British camping beach holiday. Sandcastles, ice-cream and drizzle. A preference not shared by all family members. Finally, and by far the worst for me is packing.

My attitude to packing is to throw everything in the van and drive off as quickly as possible. Oh, by the way, the ‘suspicious white van’ reported on the Barwick Facebook page is often me, your friendly Curate trying to find somewhere to park. Anyway, back to the story. Packing quickly has led to some amusing situations; amusing now, but not at the time. How my family laughed when we turned up at the sloping field of a campsite in the mountains without the wheel chocks for our camper van! I still remember the sound of the gentle thud as yet another child slid out of the pop-up roof.

Preparation is important but it is not the thing itself. Our holiday preparations could be perfect but that doesn’t guarantee a happy holiday. If you think back, what has been the happiest holiday memories you have had? For me they are floating snippets, willow the whisp moments like clouds that bubble up briefly then evaporate in the sunshine. Smiles, the smell of the sea, chips on the beach, games in the tent on a wet day…

All these are special memories of family and friends. Holidays for me are not where you are, but who you are with. They are a chance to refresh and deepen family ties, to build relationships, to rest, experience new things and have some time to reflect.

Jesus didn’t go on holiday, but he did take time out both alone and to be with those closest to him. He needed to. Firstly to have time to be with God in that closest of relationships, but also to care for those he loved deeply. As part of his preparation for his demanding role, Jesus took time to care for himself, even when those around him were crying out for his attention.

Whether you are holidaying at home this summer or on a great adventure. Flying to far flung places or eating ice-cream in the drizzle. I hope you take a tip from Jesus and spend some time with those closest to you, have a moment to reflect on life and refresh yourself this summer. Just don’t forget your chocks!