October 2019 Letter
Alison, Suzanne and I recently went to a “minister’s retreat” arranged by West Lothian Presbytery. It was held at The Bield at Blackruthven. There I’ve learned that the word “bield” is an old Scottish word which means “shelter” or “refuge”.
We were reminded of the importance to regularly take some time out of our normal routine, not only to reload our batteries, but also to refocus our lives on God. And that is something that is not only important in the life of a minister, it’s important for all of us to do.
Have a wee look at this passage from Romans 12 (The Message): So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out…Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fuelled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.
Every now and again we need to “retreat” from the world, in order to return to the world with renewed energy. And one of the best places a Christian can do this is on a Sunday at church. To me our church is my “bield”, my safe place, where for one hour a week I get to realign my life with God in order to face the week ahead.
So let’s all look after ourselves in the way God wants us to. We all try to eat the right things and do enough exercise to keep our bodies fit and healthy – let’s do the same for our souls…
May God bless you all,