In case anyone is wondering, I am planning to continue with Simplify 7 – and I do actually have some firm plans about what I am going to do next – but since I was due to go on holiday at the end of August, it seemed appropriate to take a break. I know that seems a bit odd – as if Simplify 7 isn’t odd enough! – because I am obviously not taking a break from my life in general. Things happen. Things I can control and things I can’t. I haven’t stopped learning, or thinking, or praying, or exploring. I’m just not writing about it so much at the moment, and I’m not undertaking a focused ‘project’ – but I do plan to get right back to that when I return from holiday.
Someone asked me recently whether I was aiming to undertake 7 holidays this year, and was that part of the plan. Well, no it isn’t, and no I’m not – but I am certainly very grateful for all the holiday opportunities I have. And if I counted all the weekend breaks too…well, I would probably be pretty close to 7 this year!
For me, travelling is all about exploring and discovering more about this amazing world. When I was a child, I never in my widest dreams thought that I would ever be able to go to some of the places I’ve been. Those countries on the other side of the ‘iron curtain’ might as well have been on the moon. America, too, was like another planet. But I consider myself hugely blessed that I’ve already been to more than 20 countries – and I hope to go to many more. I’ve seen and done some amazing things. I’ve met some fascinating people and learned about their lives. I can’t imagine I will ever get tired of exploring the world, and I’m really looking forward to my upcoming trip to Texas. Who knows what might happen?!
Right now, I’m watching the Olympics from Rio. I’m not very interested in sport as a rule, but there is something about the Olympics that seems to have me hooked. Maybe it’s partly the way the media manages to make it the stuff of legend, but I think it’s mostly the recognition of the dedication the athletes have put in to get them there. They are incredible! It would be easy to think of them as superhuman, but – although they often push their bodies to do things that no normal human being can do – they are all just ordinary people, with all the normal trials and tribulations of life. Their stories are incredible and awe-inspiring. They are so dedicated and focused, so ready to sacrifice what most of us take for granted. The joy of the medallists is infectious, although I can’t imagine that anyone who can say they have competed in the Olympic Games is ever going to be ashamed of that. Just look at the refugee team!
Still, I am not an Olympic athlete – and even though Paul made it very clear that our job is to keep our focus on the goal – I’m ready to take a break from the everyday, in the full hope and expectation that I will return all the better for it!
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
Philippians 3 v13-14 (The Message)