August – hopefully the sun is shining as much as it has been this June/July, and the gardens are resplendent with flowers, fruit and vegetables to enjoy. It is usually quite a quiet month as many people go away on holiday; except perhaps if you are a student, and need to work all summer to try and augment the funds for university. It can be a bit of an anxious month for students too, as they await those all-important results; I have one granddaughter awaiting her A level results this year.
If you will be going away on holiday with young children – best of luck as you field the inevitable ‘are we nearly there yet?’ question. We do the same thing though, after calculating what time we need to leave to catch the flight/ferry/avoid the worst of the traffic queues; the next question is often ‘when will we get there?’
Important stuff of course, but if we concentrate too much on the end result we can miss the fun and significance of the journey. Beautiful gardens happen as a result of many hours enjoying being outside, listening to bird song and feeling the warmth of the sun as we dig, weed and sow. Exam results are hugely important, but actually what we have learned along the way is much more significant. If you’re off on holiday, see the beginning as when you leave, rather than when you arrive, and enjoy the scenery and the time together on the journey.
The two most important festivals of the Christian Church are Jesus’ birth at Christmas, and his resurrection at Easter – the beginning and end of his earthly life. Very significant of course, but it is his teaching and healing, and the lives he transformed during his ministry that show us how to model our lives on him and try to follow his example.
All of which you can hear about week by week in your church, as Christians seek to model their lives on his example of peace and love for all. The beginning and end are important; but never more than the journey. Come along to your church any Sunday to hear about Jesus’ ministry and teaching; and remember to involve God in your journey – gardening, studies, career, holiday, family – because he will greatly enrich your experience.
Rev’d Chris Musser