Take time these holidays to stop and rest.
Summer holidays always held a special kind of magic for me as a kid. After Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, with the blazing sunshine, and the countless family barbecues, January was the month when everything would pause.
Of course, as I grew older some of that charm disappeared. I found myself working up to Christmas Eve, and had to slot in holiday parties by default, running from one to another. I would juggle holiday leave with work deadlines and family occasions, all the while thinking back wistfully to those years I could sleep in and be spontaneous with friends at all hours.
It’s easy to romanticise ‘the good old days’, but it can sometimes be hard to find that same joy in the present moment. I find the responsibilities and anxieties of life easily take over my mind and, instead of appreciating what I have, I’m focused on completing the next task.
But God doesn’t want us to live like that. He tells us that he is a God of rest, and gives us permission to pause and experience life moment by moment with him. A verse in the Bible says, “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm chapter 23, verse 6).
I love the certainty of the psalmist who writes this. He knows that, whatever life throws at him, he can find peace and joy in God. In fact, this goodness will follow him wherever he goes. He is so confident of this fact that he knows when he passes on from this life he will find that goodness in eternity with God.
This holiday season, I want to stop and see the goodness and love all around me. Instead of rushing and trying to keep a packed schedule, it’s my goal to pause and be thankful for every moment I have. If I do this, I think I may recapture the essence of joy the summer holidays held for me as a child.
Would you like to join me? All it takes are open eyes to see the world around you, and a heart willing to pause and recognise what truly matters.
When we stop and embrace the goodness and love of God, we are rejuvenated for whatever is next. And even better, we are reminded of what truly matters. So go ahead, and give yourself permission to stop and rest. It’s the first step to experiencing the goodness of God.