TAKING TIME OUT
I must admit that I sometimes find it difficult to write these articles for PAX. Clare, your ever patient and forgiving editor, gives me plenty of notice and yet still bites her tongue when I again fail to make the submission deadline. The trouble is, I never know what to say. I have to think ahead to what will be relevant by the time your magazine reaches you but my brain is still trying to cope with the things I forgot to do yesterday!!
So, there I was early this morning, sitting at my dining table with fingers poised over the keyboard, and staring out into the garden desperately wracking my pre-coffee brain for inspiration. The subject had to be Easter really, didn’t it? Easter equals resurrection, new life......I had to find something remotely inspiring to say about new life. As I watched the newly opened daffodils swaying in the sunshine and listened to the birds strike up their morning chorus, my thoughts started to form and I began to think of how, in moments like these when we actually stop and notice the world around us, we can find signs of new life, signs of renewal, every single day in our ordinary lives. Even my dogs seemed to have picked up my reflective mood as they basked quietly on the lawn, their noses sniffing at the air around them.
Our morning musings were short-lived however and we were catapulted forcibly back into the realities of everyday life by the arrival, at speed, of my slightly psychotic cat Milo. Previously skulking undetected under a large bush, Milo launched himself across the lawn and up the large tree in the middle of the garden, hell-bent on extinguishing any sign of new life that may be tweeting within its branches. Fortunately for the birds and unfortunately for the dogs, Milo isn’t known for his stealth-like qualities
and the next few seconds consisted of a flurry of fur and howls
as Milo leapt for a bird on a high branch, missed and fell unceremoniously onto the dog whereby he steadied himself by sinking his claws into Toby’s hind quarters!! Something akin
to a Tom and Jerry cartoon ensued as the other two dogs also took flight and the four of them charged around the garden massacring daffodils as they went.
How quickly life can change. And how much we can miss out on if we fail to appreciate what we have in the here and now and focus instead on what may or may not happen tomorrow. Our lives are busy, full of things to do, deadlines to meet, challenges to overcome. We often put aside the things that remind us of what it is that gives our life meaning, thinking
we will do that when we have more time but in doing so we miss out on so many wonderful moments and fail to live our lives as fully as God intended us to do.
This season of Lent gives us a chance to press the pause button. As the church and our faith encourage us to refocus on the life, death and sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, we also have before us the hope, the new life, that his resurrection on Easter Day offers for all who follow him. A chance to begin again, to walk a new path, every time we seek God’s direction for our lives.
My prayer for all of us this Lent is that we will each take a few moments every day simply to live in the present, to stop and look around us and appreciate the world we live in and the life we live. To remind ourselves of what is important
and who it is we are called to be.
And as for me.....well, I seem to have had my time to pause this morning ......I’m off to rescue the dogs!!
With love - Ginni