I have just returned from our annual visit to Robinson River in the Northern Territory. It brings me a lot of joy to be able to introduce some of my Carey friends to my beautiful friends in the Robinson River community and share their joy, mutual respect and acceptance. There are many aspects of this trip that I cherish but there is one which has particularly stuck with me this year.
When we interview the Year 6s prior to the trip, they often talk about how they anticipate noticing how ‘lucky’ we are compared to the children in Robinson River. I quite often smile quietly to myself and think, ‘I wonder if you will feel the same way when you return?’ Sure enough, one of the many expectations that were challenged this week was that one. And it wasn’t about material possessions, it was about time, freedom and space. The children in Robinson River do not have busy schedules filling up their every minute. Our Carey students relished the opportunity to kick a football with friends, play on the swings, sit and chat, braid hair, draw, read and just be. Even us adults savoured the chance to sit and brew a cup of tea, sipping it in the gentle afternoon sun. One of my jobs was to hang washing on the Hills Hoist. Even that task, rarely performed at home, gave me the chance to pause and breathe and reflect.
It is so important that our lives are balanced. We all need to chance to make space in our busy lives for reflection. One Chinese Proverb I often think of is ‘Muddy water let stand becomes clear’. How true. We are never likely to have clarity to make decisions or ascertain God’s will for us, let alone hear His voice if the noise of our busy world drowns out everything else.
My prayer is that the coming holidays afford you such time – go and fly and kite, take a walk on a winter beach or even hang the washing on the line!
Be still; and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Janine de Paiva
Junior School Chaplain