When I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as a child, I didn’t have much time for the songs. The short ones I endured, the long ones I skipped. Now I’m discovering a hitherto unknown appreciation for this poetry.
Roads go ever ever on,
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.
J. R. R. Tolkein, The Hobbit
As we’ve already seen this week, the Christian hope is described beautifully by Tolkein. This time the focus is on rest. The Christian journeys through this world in a constant state of war with spiritual forces. But our eyes, which currently see the conflict of fire and sword, will one day enjoy the sight of meadows, trees and hills that we have previously known only by faith.
I live in a house with five friends. From the six of us, there will be three of us in the house for the next few days. One housemate has gone home, one is going to his girlfriend’s house and one has gone with his girlfriend to visit his extended family. It’s contributing to the feeling that it is in fact the end of term, and my calendars are lying to me. It can’t only be week five of ten; the term must be more than half way through!
Having one (easy) exam left means I’m relaxed about uni work. Having months before freshers arrive means I’m relaxed about freshers’ week. Having rediscovered the joys of Prince of Persia means I’m relaxed about my use of time. But too much relaxation is probably not a brilliant way of living. As a human I’m supposed to live a six-day working week. I’m probably doing about one day’s work each week at the moment.
Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying that rest is wrong. I believe that resting is just as important as working. But that doesn’t mean it should take up as much time. The term is, in fact, far from over. I have to revise for the exam and commit it to God in prayer. I have to select my modules for next year, and pick a project to work on. Then I have to work on it! I have to organise freshers’ week before CU members start going home and become difficult to contact. I want to learn passages of scripture. I want to clarify my opinions towards various controversial beliefs. I want to write a study of some of the shorter books in the Bible. This isn’t a sympathy plea, or an attempt to show you how difficult my life is. I love my life! But when you see me around, check if I’m making good use of my time. At the top of my to-do list are three things which have been at the top for quite a while:
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)
And just to keep everyone relaxed, an introduction to Apple’s latest product, the MacBook Wheel.