As the days get longer, this time of year always feels as though I have more time than at other parts of the year. July becomes, for me, a time to engage in hobbies to utilise the daylight for enjoyable extra moments in my day. It also makes the days feel more spacious. The grind of the earlier, darker days of the year are gone and now people feel more relaxed and more gracious.

What might we do to intentionally seek to embrace this sense of spaciousness and graciousness?

I have recently purchased a large Lego set. I currently spend my enjoyable extra moments piecing together a model of the Millenium Falcon from Star Wars. In July I will celebrate my 39th birthday and I hope to receive more Lego to entertain me over the next weeks and months. These sorts of activities, frivolous, indulgent even, strangely enhance the sense of spaciousness in our lives. Each of us will enjoy different things but whatever lifts up your head from the pressures and stresses of life should be engaged in. As our heads lift, our periphery vision will expand and we will catch a wider vision and perspective on our circumstances. The Cathedral continues to offer many evenings of entertainment where you can re-set in the beauty of our building with music, theatre and worship.

With these renewed and refreshed perspectives we are able to remind ourselves of how we fit into a bigger picture. This might be in an awareness of others who are also going through what we are going through, making us feel less alone. It might be that we see others in comparison to others, giving us a fresh sense of appreciation for what we have. Ultimately, with this wider vision, we are able to remember the Kingdom of God in all its subtleties working itself through our lives, both individually and corporately. Remembering that we are part of God’s Kingdom and not our own takes the pressure off us and others.

This month we welcome back ACT with their latest outdoor Shakespeare production. This year they will be performing the Comedy of Errors. For a while I had it in my diary as CofE. This thoroughly confused me as I continued to read it and think that I was somehow hosting the whole of the Church of England. Funnier still was my acceptance that maybe CofE can stand for both! My point is: part of embracing graciousness is to build in a way to not take oneself too seriously (a danger that I am particularly tempted by!) 

I encourage you to spend this month working on the spiritual discipline of hobbies and lightness. Find and share some space and grace with others.

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