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Ahoy there!

"(God's) mercies never fail. They are new every morning..." Lamentations 3. 22-23

At last. Restrictions having been lifted sufficiently to allow solo paddling, the kayak was launched yesterday. It wasn't a big deal and I didn't have time for a long journey but it was a thrill to be afloat again: a reminder of what joy is to be found in simple pleasures.

We need moments of respite to recall our humanity. Granted that some people are bored and lonely, many are so consumed with legitimate busy-ness that they become like robots on a treadmill - endless going around fulfilling tasks that need to be done but mechanically, without joy and without satisfaction. The danger is that those for whom these tasks are performed become objects of resentment - and that can include God!

This is not the way it should be. Jesus came to bring life in its fulness (John 10. 10). Yet he also warned that unless we take up our cross daily to follow him as fellow sufferers (Luke 9. 23) we have no right to consider ourselves Christians. "Living sacrifices" is how Paul describes us (Romans 12. 1). That doesn't sound very pleasant.

The key to our dilemma comes through the author of the letter to the Hebrews (chapter 12, verse 2), who describes how "for the joy set before him" Jesus endured his own busy-ness and suffering. If we can keep our eyes fixed on the finer things of life - God's love, our heavenly home, the richness of life - that will see us through the grief and the pressure. Also the loneliness and boredom, if that is our lot right now. Finding joy in something simple and inconsequential can help us do just that.

Whatever your predicament may you be aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit, breathing hope and strength into your life.

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