The last three weeks of August have been an opportunity just to stop and to rest. But there’s also been much tiredness. I’m thankful to God for the space that the summer holiday brings to be still, not to be busy – it’s a luxury we have in the west that is denied to millions who live on the edge of existence. I’ve also learned to embrace tiredness as God’s brake on my otherwise non-stop approach to life. Even Elijah needed to stop running and sleep a bit.
Diana spent a week at the Signs of God summer school – a week long conference for Christians involved in ministry with deaf people. Dan spent much of the summer at Soul Survivor where he also worked on the sports team for one week. That left Joel and me to a quiet house where we were able to catch up on our reading. Joel’s been working through lots of stuff including Dostoyevsky, ‘Notes from Underground and the Double’. I’m on ‘God’s Politics’ by Jim Wallis and several books on research into youth spirituality, the reasons for which will become clear very soon.
The other highlight (for Joel and me anyway) was working our way through the entire series of Firefly, the Sci-fi TV series by Joss Whedon which is a bit like a cross between Star Wars and The Magnificent Seven. In many ways it’s not particularly sci-fi; it’s the characters, their developing relationships and the situations they get into that carry the series along. Fox TV bumped it off after making 14 episodes, only showing 11 of them and, to cap it all, showing the pilot last. This has assured it of cult status and far too many web pages devoted to it!
Whedon, a self professed atheist, includes a character called ‘Shepherd Book’ who is a kind of itinerant monk from a specifically Christian tradition. Although the theology is more deist than theist, Book is very sympathetically scripted, being reflective, wise and also very practical – his role and his God are clearly an integral part of the world of Firefly. An interesting alternative to the atheism of Star Trek or the taoism of Star Wars.
Other highlights of the summer included two trips to Wales which meant I got to see my mum, and the not-so-helpful experience of having our car written off, which will mean an unexpected trip to the car auctions.
And so to the start of a new term which brings with it the excitement of new projects, disappointment as a newly appointed team member changes their mind about joining us in September, and the shock of hearing that one of our Trustees had a stroke last week. Back to earth with a bump: I’m so glad that the King of Kings walks with us.