I’ve just come in from my morning walk with the dog. It was a beautiful morning, one of those when the world still hasn’t woken up properly! The sun was still rising and the birds morning chorus was ringing out! There was a real sense of peace, not much traffic on the road (yet). As I walked along it was completely silent in Otterspool Woods, no-one about. The world seemed still and peaceful.

Its these moments that I cherish, these simple joys that make such a difference. As you probably know, the Vicarage is a busy household, life is hectic to say the least and with four children there isn’t much time for peace. Yet in Otterspool woods this morning, I was able to find a rare moment of silence. What a joy!!

As I walked I was reminded of how Jesus often took himself off to a quiet place (usually early in the morning) to pray. If anyone knew what it felt like to be busy, to be pulled in all kinds of directions and to have multiple things going on in your life, it was him. I don’t think its any coincidence that he took himself to a quiet place. There is something special about finding that place. Finding that place where you can spend time- quality time – engaging with God in prayer. It’s often on my walks with the dog that I find myself doing this. I suppose its because in that moment, nothing else can be done, I can’t write an email, can’t prepare a sermon, can’t visit someone. Its just me and God. What I find amazing is the result of these times, I tend to find the stresses and strains of life are put back into perspective and everything takes on a different look. Can I encourage you to try to find that place of peace with God. To try to find a routine, or a place where you can engage with Him without distraction.

But that’s not the end of the story….

Yes, the world seemed a peaceful place this morning, but there was also a real sense of anticipation of the day ahead. Its going to be a glorious day, I can tell! Its already got that feeling about it! There is much to look forward to!! The birds are singing, the suns warmth is spreading, there is a real sense of joy in the air! As Christians, we should be filled with a sense of joy, the joy that comes from knowing the Lord, that in all things he is with us and the joy that in him we find our sense of purpose and belonging. And like the sense of anticipation of the day ahead, others should sense that joy in us. Our joy should be contagious and we should want to shout it from the rooftops. A bit like the birds this morning!!!

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