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Reform Magazine | September 23, 2020

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Editorial: It’s a lovely day out there

It was one of the great mysteries of life when I was a child, why grown ups seemed so convinced that being outside is good for you. I’d be happily playing in the lounge and my mum would come in and say: ‘What are you doing in here? It’s a lovely day out there!’

I’d say: ‘It’s a lovely day in here too. Don’t spoil it by making me go outside.

’And she’d say: ‘You’re missing the best part of the day! You should be making the most of it.

’And I’d say: ‘I am making the most of it – I’m arranging small plastic soldiers on the floor, and then I’m going to draw space.’

These days, I see things a lot more like my mum. My favourite day of the year is the one we had last weekend – the first really warm sunny day of the year, the first day you can eat outside, the first day you can go down the street in your shirtsleeves and get out, make the most of it. That’s the real New Year’s Day for me.

The Church calendar this May is full of endings and beginnings. We’re at the end of Easter, the close of the season of rebirth. There’s Ascension Day, a farewell to Jesus. Then we have Pentecost, ‘the birthday of the Church’. The last day of the month, the visitation of Elizabeth to Mary, takes us back to Jesus’ days as an embryo and an expectation.

In among all that comes Trinity Sunday, which invites us to step aside from all these beginnings and endings, the endless cycle of change, and contemplate something entirely different. God, who is beyond change but who pours forth our universe of change, who has no ending or beginning but is the beginning and end of all we are.

I find that kind of contemplation helpful, when I manage to make time for it. In all the ups and downs and arounds and arounds of my life, to focus for a while on something far beyond myself. It’s not escapism, but the opposite. It’s seeing all the stuff that I focus on too much in its proper context for once, which means seeing it more clearly and calmly.

As the Psalm says: ‘The Lord is my light.’ I can’t see the sunlight, but because I open my eyes to it I can see the world around me as it is. Which makes me want to get out and make the most of it. It’s another lovely day.

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This article was published in the May 2018 edition of  Reform

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