August Team Letter from Revd. Rich Henderson

Posted on by Tania Birtwistle

Taking time out…to be!

We somehow manage to fill our days with all sorts of activity. I heard on the radio the other day someone speaking about pausing for moments during the course of the day. The suggestion was to take 15 minutes or if possible half an hour to just switch off from the activities of the day.

I had a gap in the day so instead of getting on with the next thing I walked a bit of the coast and sat on the beach. As I was sat reflecting I was reminded of one of my favourite poems by William Henry Davies.

WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


August is that month when many of us take a longer a break and our beautiful part of Suffolk is a place where people come for their break whether for the day, a weekend or longer.

For some of us, taking life at a more leisurely pace is difficult.  I am an active person and struggle sometimes to step back and let life take a slower pace for a while, but I do value the space and know the benefit to just reflect and perhaps catch up on some reading.  As is so often quoted, ‘we are human beings not human doings’, each of us can benefit from minutes, moments or longer periods of ‘being’.  This might include taking time to enjoy what is on our doorstep or to sit out in the garden and relax. Taking time out to ‘stand and stare’ can be very creative.  It is often the time when we can allow our thoughts and feelings to gather and to begin to make sense of life and to pray.

Jesus himself regularly took himself off to be with his Father, Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35

Prayer does not have to be active, prayer is just about making yourself available to God and allowing ourselves to ‘stand and stare’ at the wonder of God in all we see, all we experience and to simply be in God’s presence.

My prayer is that you will find the time and place to ‘stand and stare’ and enjoy the moments!

With blessings