This last month has seemed madly busy with endless meetings, decisions, and travel. June is often a month when I am trying to get everything finished before holidays start. Desperate to be able to have time off, I fill up the weeks before trying to ensure nothing is left to be done before I close the laptop and put on the “out of office.” This leaves me feeling exhausted as the summer begins.
Last week I was forced to pause the busyness, slow down and give undivided attention to my friends. They had asked me to officiate at their wedding. As we stood in the middle of the picturesque ruins of Lindores Abbey, we asked God to presence himself with us all that day.
We used a Scottish Handfasting ceremony where the best man and bridesmaid tied cords round the hands of the wedding couple as a sign of two families being united. Then we read:
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labour:
if either of them falls,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no-one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
ECCLESIASTES 4 V 9-12
Then we laid a third cord round their hands saying: “This cord is a sign of the third strand, of the God who loves you. May you keep him at the centre of your relationship”
It was a holy moment.
We paused in the middle of the busyness, the wedding celebrations, the excitement of friends and family gathering, and acknowledged that God was the one who would strengthen and keep them in the years ahead.
As I returned to my busy schedule this week, run ragged with activity, I have been reflecting on the truth that “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” I have been reminded that I am strengthened as I keep God at the centre of all I do.
For many of us who recognise we are (perhaps overly) busy, may we use this summer season to allow our lives to be recalibrated to the holy and everyday presence of God with us.