This month I'm writing from the middle of a field. Our whole family are joining in with the 1st Harwell Scout Group summer camp - and we're having a great time! At this time of year people in their thousands take to the fields for their holidays - living life very differently for a week or two, enjoying being close to the natural world. Such activity is all the more enjoyable when the sun is shining, as at last it is (at least, at the time of writing!). For others, the concepts of holiday and camping most certainly do not go together, and a proper bed, running water and solid walls are strictly non-negotiable.
We are different in the things we find restful and refreshing. But we all need to take time out of our normal routines to rest, reflect, and recharge. It is easy to get ground down by what can sometimes seem to be a treadmill of daily life, and building in relaxation and recreation into our lives is essential if we want to stay healthy and fresh. This is not only good sense, it is commanded in the Bible.
God's people were instructed to have one day free from work every seven - the so called Sabbath day - and this was taken so seriously that it even made it into the Ten Commandments.
"Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day
is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work"
In addition to the weekly Sabbath day were a cycle of special annual celebrations that also enforced rest, and this important concept has made it into our culture. The English word ‘holiday' comes from ‘Holy Day' - a day set aside for a special purpose - time to rest, reflect and recharge.
We should not feel guilty about carving out time for these things. We need them, and God commands them. We can keep going for a while without a break, but like a vehicle that is not regularly serviced, we risk inefficiency and even breakdown. As pit stops are important for racing cars, so breaks are for humans. So whether it is time in a field under canvas or in more civilised surroundings, do take a holiday if you can.
With best wishes,
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton