Monday, April 16, 2012

16th April 2012

So where’s the sun gone then? Yes, I’m back in Malvern and although relatively bright it’s actually rather cold up in the hills. It’s nice to have company though as a friend of mine travelled with me this time. And having just settled down to write this it strikes me that our conversation has not slowed, even a little bit, since mid-morning. But it’s nice to connect with someone who moves in the same circles as myself, so we get to talk about church and stuff all day. I love it. Ok, Elgar crept in somewhere down the line. And maybe, JRR Tolkein and CS Lewis a little bit as well. Nothing wrong with an exploration of eschatology and missiology though is there?

Really though, the most valuable thing about the day is the wonderful sense of peace that pervades as I travel. I love camping, though purists might suggest my fully winterised motorhome with all mod-cons is a bit of a cheat. I don’t care. I like to be comfortable. My travelling companion is determined to sleep in his one man storm tent, alongside my vehicle. I can understand that, been there done that got the tee-shirt… it’s just that I’ve moved on now. I like a real mattress and a heater and a bathroom and all the rest of it! For me peace is everything at the moment. And I'm not just talking about a quiet environment either. Years ago, I can remember, when taking a holiday, I’d always have to go away for a couple of weeks. It would take me a whole week to simply unwind from work pressures; only then would I be able to relax enough to enjoy my time away. On at least one occasion I ended up taking my work with me and spent an hour or so every evening sat in the car with my work books whilst Jane prepared an evening meal. What a rubbish job that made me do that! Maybe I didn't really have to do it, I'm not sure, but I did. Anyway life is so very different now. I seem able to leave the pressure of life back in Derby and just instantly relax.

But really the only true peace I find is the peace of God. And the source of that peace is centred within my heart, irrespective of geographical location or external environment. I am drawing closer to the Lord I know, but learning how to live without succumbing, at least in small measure, to the normal stress and pressure of everyday living is something I still need to grow into.

Philippians 4:6-7 'Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.' (NLT)

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