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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

19 July 2013: Judith Bee, St Mary, Buriton

Time to be

School's out! The long summer term has ended, exams are over, everyone is ready for a break. The summer beckons. People often have memories of long, hot summers when they were children, freed from the routine of school, able to play freely, enjoy new experiences, and for the lucky ones, to go away and explore a new place, a new area.

Rest and relaxation are important for our general health and well being, they contribute to our mental and emotional health as well as physical health. In our frantically busy world we can sometimes be made to feel that if we are not busy we are not doing enough, but we do ourselves a disservice by not taking time out.

The fourth commandment declares one day in seven a Sabbath day, a holy day, a day to be set apart. This is not intended to be yet something else we have to do, but to be life enhancing. Such a day can restore us, improve our well being, help maintain our relationships, give us space to remember the person we are, and the one we would like to be, and to remember God whose gift this special day is. 'Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for the needs of human beings, and not the other way around."' Mark 2:27

I was really sorry on holiday one year to see a notice in a children's playground which said "No playing here on Sundays." Unfortunately it wasn't a joke. What a missed opportunity!
God made us to enjoy being his children, and to enjoy being part of his world. A time of rest and fun is his special gift to us. Whatever you are doing this summer, whether away or at home, take time to rest, restore and enjoy.

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Herald on 19 July; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

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