Lapland – living in the eternal now

Yesterday we had the beautiful experience of visiting Lapland with some amazing friends. It was an early start (waking at 315am!) and a round day trip of around 3000 miles but it was worth it.

The scenery was stunning (as you can see in photos here) and it was cold … but not as cold as it could have been. But, most of all – I believe again … I stood in Santa’s cottage, had a chat and shook his hand – he is real and it is all true!

I noticed in our short stop that the way fo life was very calm and relaxed. Those same two words sum up the climate I experienced – cool, calm and relaxed. I noticed something similar in Antigua, although there is was hot, calm and relaxed.

Both lifestyles have a stark contrast to what I experience in 21st century Medway, and the UK generally, where we seem to rush around in a society that seems to place value on personal ‘busy-ness’ rather than valuing people for simple who they are and enjoying and making the most of ‘the moment’.

In our UK society I fear that we miss so much of the present around us in our speed of wanting to achieve and do better and earn more and achieve more …. it is as if we don’t ever fully appreciate anything because we are constantly looking over our shoulders to see what others have or what others are doing.

During Advent we are challenged to slow down and consider the moment of Christ entering this world and asking ourselves what that actually means for us at this very point in time. One thing I have become increasingly aware of this Advent time, is that we can only really exist in the eternal now … the past we cannot change, and the future we cannot predict … now is all we have.

In Lapland yesterday I saw the reality of people living in the now …. I pray this Christmas time that I may be able to grasp that reality of living in the eternal now.

Snow as a sabbath

There has been a lot of reflection upon the snow, some still love it and want more, others are fed up with it and are wishing for the big thaw …. I’m not sure which camp I’m in really. Snow certainly disrupts, but in my experience is has not caused a shut down, but required a slowing down.

On my travels, both in car and on foot, I have experienced people thinking they can act normally and travel at their normal speeds in snow. I have watched them get into difficulties. People running and sliding onto their arses! People revving car engines and traveling sideways. I’ve noticed others slowing down as they walk, drivers gently pressing their accelerators and completing their respective journey’s with no problems at all.

Last week, I re-tweeted this from twittugies:

Snow slows our world;
deepens our sense of silence.
Places our plans on hold.
Calls us home.
Snow in its own way is a Sabbath.

Snow as a Sabbath – I like that thought!