|morning prayer in a hammock|
What good news that is! That God has made US "little less than gods; and crowned us with glory and honor." (Psalm 8.5) What a blessing to know and celebrate that the Creator of the cosmos determined that the world needed each of US, too! This same divinity carefully arranged "the heavens, ... the moon and stars" in a way that we might see them, be awed by them, and give glory. It's no wonder the psalmist asks "what are we that you should keep us in mind, mere mortals that you care for us?" (Ps 8.3,4)
And yet - despite this profound gift - we all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday, common, earthly life, and we forget this. We get trapped down with earthly things, and forget who and whose we are. When we are in such narrow-focus, we suffer for it: we get stressed, cranky, overtired. Our compassion, empathy, kindness decrease. We become selfish, self-centred, and self-absorbed.
We turn away from God. And in doing so, we lose sight of being made in God's image and likeness. And this is why we have holidays and vacations, times of recreation. Yet I invite us to remember:
holidays are days designed by custom to be Holy...
vacation is an act of leaving (vacating) for a period of extended recreation...
and recreation is a time or activity of leisure and enjoyment.
However, I suggest that for those of us who live into our status as created in the image of God, recreation is in fact a time of re-creation. It is a time to vacate the normal and remember God's extraordinary gifts. It is a time set aside to re-engage with the holiness that created and sustains us. It is a time to re-orient ourselves towards God, living as the joy-filled creation that God intended us to be.
Recreation is re-creation; it is returning to the source of light and peace and grace. It is finding ways to delight in knowing that we are wonderfully made in the image and likeness of God.
Holy God, may your Spirit, who danced and played over the void before your Creation began, come and dance in our hearts once more: may our time of recreation be a time of re-creation; of returning to you as Creator.
(Psalm 8 from the Grail translation)