What matters most in life; health, wealth, love or …?
As I type, the sun is doing the Hokey Cokey; in, out, in, out, and enough breeze to shake it all about. I am tempted to down tools and go for a walk. Surrounded as we are by glorious countryside, exercise should be easy. Once an hour my watch even beeps and tells me to get up and move. Tempting though all this is I have obviously prayed ‘Lead us not into temptation’ just a little too earnestly because, for all my enthusiasm, my diary tells me I don’t take nearly enough exercise. Exercise takes time and energy, and not just when it’s sunny. Use it or lose it.
As with the body so with the soul. Prayer is not a mystery, it’s a conversation with God. Just as we all need somewhere to speak with friends and family, so to with God. At home, walking the dog, in church – the choice is yours; find it and use it. The more we practice the more natural it becomes.
Maybe the experiences of the past few months can point to ‘What Matters?’ When the nation closed for business in March what did we look for and what did we miss? Four months on, has that changed? One thing I suspect that most of us miss is human contact. Technology has helped us keep in touch, even introduced us to new friends, but we long for the freedom to actually touch another person, shake hands, speak face to face.
Use it or lose it. The shop, pub, post office, church; whatever else these represent, they are an opportunity to mix with others. It’s the relationships that count and to build relationships we need to meet, to stay long enough to share. Yet so many facilities we take for granted are slowly disappearing as they slip gently out of use. When places of meeting are gone, our opportunities to build relationships are weakened and we are the poorer for that.
Healthy relationships, like healthy bodies, take time and effort. Relationships are essential for healthy communities, healthy people. Give the effort and they repay us many times over. As the world slowly opens up value your relationships and value the people and places that help them grow. Use them or lose them.