My family and I recently returned from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Scotland and Northumbria. This was part of my sabbatical from earlier in the year that had to be postponed because of COVID-19.
We left on a Friday evening flew from Boston to Edinburgh, had a great time exploring the city, went to the beach in St. Andrews, rode buses and trains, visited museums and the Edinburgh Castle, and were making plans to spend the following week with an old friend of mine in Northumbria who leads The Northumbria Community (the home of the “May the Peace of the Lord Christ Go With You” song that carried us through the pandemic as a church).
It was all going so well. And then. . . on Thursday, I got a runny nose. . . Here we were - on a trip that had been postponed because of COVID and. . . I ended up getting COVID. Irony of ironies!
Thankfully, my family didn’t get sick and my own symptoms were extremely mild (a runny nose that ended after three days), but we did have to cancel our plans to stay with the Northumbria Community. At first, I was very disappointed. My hopes and plans - for well over a year - had to be scrapped. BUT, in the end, it turned out to be a good thing.
One of the things I had to learn during my sabbatical was that I might have all of these plans to “do” things (study the Bible more, take guitar lessons, spend a week in prayer and contemplation with other Christians), but perhaps the most important thing for me to “do” was to simply “be” - to do less and enjoy more.
So, our plans had to change. We found a place to stay and did some very fun and safe (all outdoor) activities as a family - visiting a castle, walking around some beautiful gardens, climbing on the ancient stones of Hadrian’s Wall, and (when I finally tested negative for COVID) visiting the Holy Island of Lindisfarne (that can only be accessed by driving on a long road across mud flats at low tide). Samuel and I even took “Broomstick Lessons,” which involved some Harry Potter-esque fun at Alnwick Castle.
Turns out, it’s nearly impossible to spread COVID when you’re “flying” on a broomstick. All-in-all, our trip didn’t work out as planned, but I was able to simply “be” (a husband and a dad), which was, perhaps, the true purpose of the whole trip to begin with.
I hope that you are having opportunities this summer to simply “be” instead of “do.” I know that I am thankful to be your pastor and am glad to be back at BPC.
See you in church!
Grace and Peace,
Prepare for worship this week: "Rough Realities - Right Relationships”
- Read Luke 12:49-59
- Read Jeremiah 23:23-29
- Read or sing Hymn # 427 - “Jesus Knows the Inmost Heart”