It’s hard to believe we’re getting close to the end of May already! Despite the weirdness of the last couple of months, time has been flying in. It’s time to join with Heather Gerwing and friends once again for Share Four Somethings.
One of the hardest things about lockdown for me has been the limitation on outdoor exercise. In normal life, I walk a lot, so six weeks of being limited to an hour a day was tough.
One of the best presents I received on my birthday this month was the announcement that, as of the next day, the limit was being removed.
Over the last week or so, I have made the most of it. I was meant to be spending a few days in Austria, and, while it’s not quite the same as visiting the Austrian hills, I am fortunate to have quite a few hills within walking distance, so my goal has been to explore them all!
I am blessed to have so many beautiful places to walk nearby and I have loved discovering some new walks that I definitely want to do again!
I had been wanting to read this book for a while. A friend had recommended it as their top book of 2019, so it had a lot to live up to, but I’m almost certain it will make my top 10 at the end of 2020. (I choose a top ten in no particular order as it’s much too difficult to compare different types of books.)
It’s an interesting book to read at a time when much of the normal hurry has been ruthlessly eliminated in such an extreme way, but surely this is a good opportunity to stop and evaluate life.
John Mark Comer gets to the point quickly, describing hurry as “the great enemy of spiritual life”. He explores the “history of speed” (how the pace of life has got faster and faster) and looks at some of the consequences for our emotional, mental and spiritual health.
Then he moves on to look for answers. His conclusion:
“The solution to an overbusy life is not more time. It’s to slow down and simplify our lives around what really matters.”
He points us to the example of Jesus to look at how to do this, as well as sharing some practical advice, and his own experience of practices such as solitude, silence and simplifying that have helped him to live a less hurried life.
It is a great book – full of wisdom, and very thought-provoking. It was this book that began the train of thought that led to this blog post and helped me gain a fresh perspective on a challenge I was struggling with during this time.
As I mentioned, it was my birthday this month. A lockdown birthday was always going to be different, but it was a lovely day with lots of cake, flowers, cards, and time with family and friends through the magic of Zoom!
I feel the uncertainty over what lies ahead has only increased over the last couple of months, and, honestly, trying to look too far ahead scares me right now, but I am hopeful of something positive to look forward to in the next week or so.
There’s a good possibility that on Thursday we’ll take the next baby step towards easing the lockdown restrictions, which will mean we are allowed to meet with someone from another household as long as it’s outside and we keep a two metre distance, so I’m really hoping I can have a short visit with family next weekend.
And, as for looking further ahead, I’ve begun re-reading one of my favourite books of all time – The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, and as always I’m comforted by her words.
I love the description of a childhood conversation with her father when, on experiencing death in the family for the first time, she became overwhelmed with fear that her father would die.
“Corrie,” he began gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam – when do I give you your ticket?”
“Why, just before we get on the train.”
“Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things too. Don’t run ahead of him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need – just in time.”
How has this month been for you? Feel free to leave a highlight or a prayer request in the comments.
I’m grateful to Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for access to a complementary digital copy of The Ruthless Elimination Of Hurry. I only share books here that I genuinely believe will be beneficial to my readers.
Amazon links are not affiliate links, but simply provided for your convenience.