Make the most of your leisure
Some of us in the lockdown are experiencing what could be called enforced leisure. If that applies to you this could be a time to reflect on your leisure activities and your attitude to leisure. Of course, some leisure activities have had to be curtailed eg going to the gym, maybe even to Barnard Castle.
As Christians who have inherited something of the Sabbath tradition (which was designed to be spiritually refreshing, not just a legalistic observance), we know that leisure has its place in a fulfilled and productive life. It is good to see our Prime Minister finding time to play tennis, or to read about Churchill spending time painting pictures. Even Donald Trump finds time to play golf! Perhaps people like this should be spending all their time working?? No, it is right – even a duty – to include leisure activities in our schedules.
Years ago I was staying in the family of a GP on call. I remember the occasion when the phone rang and a patient was asking how soon the doctor would be attending. I overheard the doctor’s wife say he was on his rounds and would be there soon. This was a lie! The doctor was outside pursuing his favourite hobby: gardening. I remember feeling shocked, but now I understand. The doctor could only give of his best if he had proper leisure time.
There are hundreds of different leisure time hobbies. Some are very athletic, some desk-bound. Some may seem burdensome to the outsider, and some may seem trivial. Some may be solitary, some may be family or communal. It is important that our young people, so far as possible, get a taste of these different sorts of activities so that they can choose what works for them. For the oldies it is never too late to take up a new activity.
Before we can love our neighbours we must love ourselves, and part of loving yourself is providing yourself with appropriate rest and recreation. There should be no guilt attached to leisure which builds up the whole person. In our leisure we celebrate the wonder of creation, and show our gratitude to a generous Creator.