It is that time of year I think. Christmas is a far away thought of the past. New Year's Resolutions are teetering on the brink. Money is tighter - even if it isn't, there isn't really that much to do with any spare money. It's really cold outside so that leaving the house is not as pleasant as it might be. Then there is the darkness, it's dark when you get up and dark when you go to bed. Even on a more global level, times seem dark and confusing.
This time of year can be a sort of downtime. Time to get a bit down sometimes. I was speaking to someone who got through this time of year by planning all their holidays and breaks for the year ahead. "Gives me something to look forward to." That's nice. But I was thinking, what if this blah time was a blessing. What if it was time-out from the rest of the year. There is, for many people a space here. Maybe nothing that NEEDS to be planned for quite yet. Nothing outstanding, nothing to write home about. I was reading in one of the Gospels about Jesus' ministry and was struck by how much travelling from village to village he did.
I sometimes have a vague idea in my head about him almost being mobbed by different groups of people as he wandered around a couple of places. (I understand I should read my Bible better - don't write in) But I realised that, between the high level healings, and temple arguments and just downright Messiah like happenings, there was lots of planned walking between villages. Going from place to place. Sometimes they were met by the needy but then they would carry on. Just normal times. Talking, laughing, eating, going about their work, possibly being a bit low, a bit puzzled. Just life - with Jesus.
These are maybe the in-between times and they are just as important as the "happening times". I looked at January and thought "Quiet nights, blankets, candles, books, TV catch up, eating out of the freezer - not much else really".
As it turns out, we have a couple of events in January and February but besides these, we are slow and we are quiet. And it is ok being just that.