“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.’’
Matthew 11 :28, The Message
Those words, spoken by Jesus some 2000 years ago, are as pertinent and applicable as ever. We begin 2021 with our world in an extraordinary mess, and with many of us tired and worn out after a year dominated by Covid-19 and all the associated challenges and restrictions. But life and work continue, and we believe in a God of hope who loves us as His children, and who has purposes for us to live out. So what does it mean for us to walk with Him this year? How can we learn some unforced rhythms of grace that will serve us each day in our lives and in our practice?Being a vet is a joy and a calling. It is also tough, demanding and can be all consuming. How do we develop Godly resilience so that we not only survive as vets but thrive? The new year can serve as a useful opportunity to develop new spiritual rhythms that provide anchor points during our day and week to keep us rooted and grounded in God’s love and in who He says we are. Sadly, our daily activity can often be the starting point to us living lives characterised by striving, self-reliance and stress – when we listen more to the voices of others that fill our minds with expectations, comparisons, and doubt. The critical voice of a boss or partner, the tension with a colleague, the difficult confrontation with a client, the operation that went wrong – this can all lead to self-doubt, recrimination, negative comparisons, anxiety and fear about our own capabilities. We try to become more resilient by working harder, striving more, relying on our strength, locking away our fears and appearing competent because of the perceived expectations of others. This is exhausting. And also counterproductive. Jesus’ invitation is to walk with Him and work with Him in partnership. But how do we do this in the middle of a busy day?Read more ...
As a recent French graduate, I moved to Brussels in search of work and adventure. It was there that I came to faith through friendships with two Christian girls; one a neighbour and the other a colleague. I remember seeing something different in my new friends – they had a certain joyfulness and kindness that intrigued me. After two years of questions and discussions about their faith, I too became a Christian. Although my introduction to Christianity was somewhat gentle and far from extraordinary, my faith was to mature and be sorely tested as the years progressed.
As a brand-new Christian, I then embarked on a new adventure. This time I headed to Botswana, where I was to spend a year as a French interpreter for an overland safari company. I loved the simplicity of life under canvas and the challenge of setting up camp in the bush, watching the animals and taking care of the guests. At night, once everyone was safely tucked up in their tents, I would read my little red Bible by torchlight; often only managing a few verses before falling asleep after the physical activities of the day.