Hopefully, after a sporadic few weeks of tantalisingly warm weather in April and the beginning of May, a good summer will have arrived this month and we can all look forward to enjoying the outdoors. Whether we sit in our gardens, take a picnic to the park, or be more adventurous and travel to the seaside, warm weather encourages us to relax and unwind. Of course, with better weather, there are the variety of seasonal activities to tempt us from garden fetes and school summer fayres to outdoor music and sporting festivals. Looking at the sporting calendar in particular, there is the FIFA World cup in Russia, a variety of Cricket internationals and the US Open Golf Championship all happening in June along with our beloved Wimbledon Tennis, starting at the end of the month. Quite rightly too, there is a growing number of women’s sporting events being increasingly televised with the women’s international football team beginning their quest for a world championship this month also.
With so much to choose from and do, we can all too easily keep overly busy with seasonal activities, or become preoccupied with the successes and failures of our favourite teams and sporting personalities. We can, in effect, fill our spare time with all varieties of leisure pursuits but feel cheated of any lasting refreshment when the chores of everyday living and work catch up with us again. The writer of Ecclesiastes, a biblical book of wisdom literature in the Old Testament, reflects how the vigorous pursuit of pleasure leaves a feeling of emptiness and futility, (read chapter 2). The results we get from life are often not what we expect or think we deserve and the writer challenges us to look to God to better understand the vagaries of life and find longer lasting fulfilment. He concludes ‘For apart from God who can eat or who can have enjoyment?’ (chapter 2 verse 25).
So, with that in mind, do enjoy all that the summer has to offer, with its hopefully warm and sunny days. But do not neglect the priorities of life, particularly relationships with family and friends (and I would say God too!) in all that you do. If you are looking for something a little different to do, please consider the Rectory Garden Summer Concert, in the afternoon of Saturday 7 July. We would love to welcome you here.