I always knew that it wouldn’t be until I got to Holy Island today that I would really believe the sabbatical had started. As Tara and I made plans for this time we knew it would be important for me to do something to mark the beginning and coming to Holy Island felt the right way to do that.
The Causeway onto Holy Island
Lindisfarne Castle (top)
and a view of the bay from
the view point (bottom).
After I’d arrived I went for a walk as my accommodation wasn’t ready till later. As I walked and ate my sandwiches I was overwhelmed by all the things I could do and in some ways wanted to do, all the things that have been in my head to do as I’ve planned the sabbatical. I wanted to read, to pray, to be still, to take pictures and to do them all at once. I quickly realised, what I probably knew in my head, that what I need to do is to settle down into God’s pace, to set down the active ministry pace which is about doing/ticking off the list and to find God’s pace for this time.
Later in the afternoon I was out walking again and was really struck by this pile of hay bales. Through them God really spoke to me of all the plans that Tara and I have made for sabbatical, which are in true Goodall style neatly stacked like each of the bales. Through the image God spoke to me of the plans being good, but that I don’t need to take them off the pile and unwrap them all at once, I can take them and enjoy them one by one when the time is right, God’s time and at God’s pace. Just round the corner I saw the pilgrim’s way poles, uncrossable because the tide was still going out, they spoke to me of taking things one step at a time and not trying to do everything at once.
The Hay Bales that God spoke to me through (top) and the Pilgrim Way Poles (middle and bottom).
Coffee and Scone at the
Pilgrims Coffee House.
Alongside my walking and thinking I’ve enjoyed starting a book, some colouring, taking photos, the peace of the Island, evening prayers at St Mary’s Church and Compline with the Community of Aidan and Hilda. I also treated myself to Coffee and Scone (a real treat as I’ve given up snacks between meals for Lent).
I’ve been telling everyone that I’m staying in a shed on Holy Island. It is in fact a great cabin in a garden which I’m really enjoying. You can find it on Air BnB.
Some more of my pictures from today: