This week I headed up to Scotland for work.
It was a quick trip, and one that was quite fun. I needed to get to Edinburgh for the day, hang out with some colleagues and help them with some problems, and head back. All in all, a good trip. Yes, there was the obligatory 3 hour flight delay, and the getting used to a strange hotel bed, but when I got back, I realised 2 quite profound things.
Firstly, economies of scale. I cannot believe that my flight from London to Edinburgh was cheaper than the taxi ride (15 minutes) from the airport to my hotel. It seems bizarre, and the economies don’t make sense. This is a tangible one, as you look at the receipts and can quantify the difference - it seems illogical, but there it is, in black and white. God’s economy is like that too, it goes against what we think it should, and often seems just unfair - enter the world of grace! We are currently doing a whole series on grace, so I won’t get into it now, but unfortunately, we want to see the evidence before we believe its truth.
Secondly, the people. Man they were friendly. You get so used a certain environment and culture, that it becomes the norm. How often do you notice small changes seeping in through daily habits and seeing those around you change, and therefore you slowly change. It is scary how easy it is to adapt to what’s going on around you, instead of being aware and conscious of the decisions you take - London life is a prime example - leading a church and working full time means that I have the perfect excuse to answer "busy and tired" to the usual question everyone asks (did I mention the 3 kids, the crazy spaniel and 10 fish?!?!? - yes we got another one...) But that is exactly what I am trying to get away from. John Wright recently said that God has given us enough time to get the things we need to get done, done. And that really hit me. Am I over doing it? Do I try to do more than I should, or do I just feel that my worth is in being busy? I have purposely slowed down now - commute instead of taking my motorbike, just to read and think. Delays at the airport was a great opportunity to catch up on Netflix. The anger and frustration around me, which I know and have experienced so well, just seems to seep away.
And that’s that - a quick trip to Scotland reminded me that Gods economy is not ours and that we can be a bit less hard on ourselves to please and achieve - enjoy your time, look around and chat to a stranger! I love the way Eugene Peterson phrases it:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message)
PS The picture of the cow was because they are Scotish and look funny.