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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

16 May 2012: Rev'd Will Hughes, St Peter's, Petersfield

Stand still and rest

I was very worried when I heard that there was going to be a hosepipe ban in the south of England. I dreaded the sad sight of newly bought plants shriveling before they could produce a flower, and of the lawn turning to dry brown and cracked earth. Yet up to the day I write this, there has not been a single day when I have looked out of the window and cursed the ban, and wished I could be out there watering the tomatoes.

Experts told us that we needed solid rain to avoid standpipes in the street, and solid rain has been what we got. It is not much fun, and sometimes dispiriting to look out at the drizzle again, but coming after a dry winter and empty reservoirs, it is an extraordinary blessing, and although it might not be what we want, it is certainly what we need.

It was strange to hear, though, that all this water, which in December would have filled the aquifers and reservoirs, in May is barely making any difference to them. It is hard to believe that the trees and grass are growing so much that they are able to drink all that the heavens can pour on them, before it can sink down to the places from which it will flow to our taps.

It is only in winter, when the ground is dead and the plants are still that the rain can really refresh the earth. When everything is active and alive and busy, it cannot really sink in. The same is true for us. If we are always frantic and busy then the blessings we receive and the good things we enjoy might keep us going, but they don't get to the places they need to in order to make a difference in the long run.

Often we need to stand still and rest in order for the beauties and blessings of the world to sink in and become a resource which will still be strengthening and sustaining us in months and years to come.

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