Last week I returned from just over five weeks in my oasis in Canada. It was so good to leave my life here in North Devon behind and have time to relax, read. meet up with old and new friends and recharge my batteries. As the end of the school year draws closer I feel like I am running on empty and it becomes harder to feel like you are giving fresh bread to the congregation when you preach. Well that is what I feel it might not be true for others. I think having two very demanding roles takes it out of you. So the opportunity to totally switch off is very welcome. Not having a routine of early mornings and having to be at meetings. Not having to write sermons, prepare resources and teach lessons all those disappear when I am away.

It doesn't take long to catch up on the sleep and it is the opportunity to read and have more time to spend with the Lord which I really appreciate.Not having an alarm going off unless I am going on a "trip". Having no one expecting anything of me is just a wonderful feeling. But after the first few days I often go to some verses which are quite familiar, Isaiah 40:28-31 says

"Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
 
And those verse are so true when we spend time with the Lord and wait on Him he gives us new strength. We don't need to be on holiday, it is true all the time, it is just that being on holiday seems to create the time that I want and need to be with God. Even before I go away I know that if I can find time for God He will meet my need it's just all the other things that get in the way.
 
So I am back home, I have already taken and preached at three services on my first Sunday back and tomorrow school starts. Yet I feel ready, having had that time to wait on God and spend quality time with him. My challenge in the coming months is to continue to go to God and allow Him to renew me, to make my time with Him a priority so that I can serve Him as He deserves.