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  • Writer's pictureRev Kalantha Brewis

Away From It All

I am shortly heading off to Italy on holiday. I love Italy- the landscape, culture, people, language (and of course the food and wine). Like a lot of other people, I love the idea of getting “away from it all” and being somewhere very different from home. Often, we want to feel free of all the struggles and hassles of everyday life, and free from the people whom we find it hardest to deal with.

 

But, as much as I love going away, I have to recognise that, however far I go, and whatever language the people around me are speaking, I can’t actually get away from it all. Even if I were staying in a fully staffed palazzo in Venice with my own personal gondola to ferry me around the city, and my own personal maid to bring me the perfectly brewed coffee in bed in the morning (and my budget doesn’t stretch to that!!!) I would still inevitably have travelled with my insecurities, expectations, personal history and limitations firmly strapped into my suitcase.         

 

It is a truism for sure, but we can’t leave ourselves behind when we jet off, and sometimes, that is exactly what we might be hoping to do! We may be able to escape some people or situations for a week or so, or even find new perspectives through new experiences, but “me, myself and I” inevitably tag along. You just can’t outrun yourself.

 

That could be a physical thing (the frustration of a body that’s painful, creaking or aging or the “wrong” size or shape) or perhaps an emotional thing (a relationship that’s broken, or a grudge we can’t let go of, or a sense of insecurity) or maybe both.

What most of us want, I think, is to feel free- not only when we are on holiday, but also when we are at home, to be free from anxiety and self-reproach and arrogance and unkindness- we want to be able to be truly “comfortable in our own skins”, wherever we are- at home or abroad.

 

St Paul wrote to the early church

“when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus, you were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

 

Christians believe that it is the work of God (who is love) in our hearts that really makes us free. It is God who can take from us the baggage of a broken dream or ignite in us a new fire of hope, kindness and joy. I do pray that, whatever your holiday plans might be for the summer, you remember that, other than yourself, the person who will always be with you is the God who loves you, and who longs to make you truly free.

 

Every Blessing

Revd Kalantha

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