Weak autumn sun, low in the sky, illuminates minute insects and dust into a shimmering haze.
It is a bit too chilly to be comfortable out here, but my body and soul need the sunshine. So a simple lunch of sushi with a mug of tea sitting quietly in a courtyard outside my work is just the ticket. Away from the flickering monitors under fluorescent tubes.
Traffic, merely 20 metres from me, is muffled by buildings. For a brief 20 minutes I’ve escaped the busy working world. The time to return will soon arrive but for now I’m allowed to retreat.
Is this not how we are called to live — in the world but not of the world?
For a portion of each day we live, work, relax, and play alongside those who are not in the kingdom of God. This is what we are called to, this is the way things are. Yet we are also called to take some time away from that, time to be with the King. Not to avoid the world, time with Jesus strengthens us to return to the world. More so than sunlight on my skin, I need His holy light on my soul and fellowship in my heart.
Like sitting outside on a cool autumn day, I’m not always comfortable coming to God. But I need these times — spent breathing in purity and light, putting myself into an uncomfortable, healthy space instead of the unhealthy spaces we create for ourselves.
In your calling today, find space and time to renew your life in Christ — renewal and refreshment is better than escapism.
I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
(John 17:14-21 ESV)
Playing ‘Mastermind’ with Iona.
Cleaning up the kids’ room while stuck on ‘hold’ for 90 minutes.
An evening of undivided attention to my son when our internet connection was broken.
A sermon on Psalm 103 showing that praise and thanksgiving is what counts most for eternity.
Not needing a modem or ISP to connect with God or other people.
Kids voices and shouts mingling with waves on the beach.
Communities caring for their public spaces.
A darkened path, knowing only that God walks with me on it.