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Summer-time blues

"Consider how the wild flowers grow..." Luke 12. 27

Don't worry, I'm not going to go all maudlin on you! The "blues" I have in mind are not the crooning lays of a troubadour but the glorious addition of flowers of that hue to the palette of colour which is currently adorning the landscape. Last year it was primroses and, although they were plentiful again this spring, they have since been eclipsed by the profusion of bluebells. This is ironic because the colour traditionally associated with this time of year, launched by the festival 'Latha Buidhe Bealltainn', is yellow. Indeed, on my run this morning, I was struck on two occasions by a charming swathe of wildflowers of which the dominant colours were yellow and white: oxeye daisies and buttercups - and doubtless many others whose names I need to learn!

In the quotation above, Jesus' eye alights on just such a sight and he uses it to confirm how much God cares for us. He who takes such delight in adorning plants which are here today and gone tomorrow is bound to be even more attentive to the needs of those he has made in his own image, in whom he has invested so much already. This is often misunderstood to mean that we can take basic necessities for granted, which is callous when considering the many millions in the world who do not have enough (and some are on our own doorstep). What Jesus is actually saying is that we should divert our obsessive minds off trivialities, in order to focus our energy on what really matters.

The purpose of starting, ending and punctuating the day in prayer is to keep aware of God, mindful of others and focused in our activities. A regime sounds exhausting but a rhythm can be liberating. If you are struggling to maintain your devotional life, bored by your commentaries, finding that your prayers are dry and lifeless, maybe it's time to change things around? Freshen up by leaving your favourite chair and going outside. Take a walk, a swim, a ride - a paddle even. If it's raining, don't shy away under your hood but look up and let the drops splash on your face. Feel alive! And consider how the wild flowers grow...

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