||( Associate minister this month )||
The month of July brings many goodbyes at educational establishments across the country. While Preschools say goodbye to their ‘rising 5’s’, primary schools will say goodbye to their year 6 cohorts and at secondary schools youngsters will be heading out into the big wide world of work and university.
At the Church School in the centre of Box we will say our farewells to a lovely gang of year 6 young people, a time of celebration for all that they have achieved during their time at the school, a time to look forward to exciting new beginnings in September, as well as a time of sadness as they skip off into the new thrilling chapter of their lives leaving us all behind. I will miss them. I make a particular effort at this time of year to pray for each and every one of them for future happiness, success and peace.
July and August are also times when we traditionally holiday, rest, recharge, take that breather so needed in busy lives and take some time to re-evaluate our lives and the direction in which we feel driven, called or compelled to head.
Matthew 11:28-30 reads: ’Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.’
I find that the holiday period presents a good opportunity to take some time out to reflect and give thanks for the past year and to pray and plan for the future, even for those of us who aren’t so young anymore. Even if nothing huge is changing in our lives, time doesn’t stand still and, as the saying goes, ‘life is not a rehearsal’. Making the most of every year, month, day, hour, making the most of every God given second is so essential as it can be so easy to whizz on through busy lives without a thought to who we are or what we are trying to achieve.
I find this verse from Proverbs
16:9 comforting and encouraging, we are not alone in our
‘In their hearts humans plan
So, here’s to a summer of rest, plans and gratitude for what we have and for those who we love. My prayer for everyone in the parish is that summer brings sunshine, warmth and time to enjoy this stunning valley in which we live, time to just be and time for us to be given back that feeling of awe and wonder in the absolute beauty of this place.