Bridlington Free Press

This is my article for the local paper….

So with Spring just around the corner, I wonder if your thoughts are going to be heading for summer? After a long cold and wet winter its easy to start dreaming of long hot summers days (not that we have had many of them for the past 2 years!)

Sometimes its easy to chase the next good thing, the “if we could just…” sort of mentality. I wonder though if we actually lived more in the here and now if we would be able to find a bit more contentment and peace?

At the moment we are about a third of the way through the season of Lent, which is traditionally a time of slowing down of living with less so that we can live more fully.

This year I have made the choice of living without socks or shoes for the whole 40 days of lent. It was not a very flippant choice and one that I toyed with for a while, but in the end I hoped it would help me to achieve two things. One to slow down, I can at times live too fast dashing from one place to the next and not really taking in the world and those around me. And two I hoped it would help me pray for those who do not have a choice to wear anything on their feet.

So far I have found it painful and a total inconvenience, but at the same time really rewarding. I have had some very funny looks and some people will ask why? (and still offer a funny look when i give an answer!)

But I think that there is a real richness in choosing poverty, in choosing to own less and to live more simply. I do not think that this is the same for those who have poverty forced upon them, in fact I think it is incredibly important that we fight the injustice of the poverty of others whenever and wherever we meet it.

But as we all face the uncertainties of the financial markets, of redundancies and the failure of the things that we thought we could place our securities in. I wonder what are we going to be left with?

Lent is a good time to slow down, and even to stop for a while and reassess who we are, I wonder if you could strip away all that you surround yourself with to make up your identity who you would find underneath?

So as you journey may you find time to slow down and reassess, may you know that you do not walk alone, and may the footprints of God and those you love be found all over your life.

Grace and Peace

Ben.

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