JUNE is one of my most looked-forward-to months.
Why? Because it is at this time of year that many of us can appreciate the opportunity to plan a trip; a journey that fills us up with excitement, something different from our often predictable daily routine.
Millions of people around the world are probably at this moment planning trips to their favourite holiday spot.
Some, on the other hand, may choose to stay locally and visit parks and towns close to their home, and enjoy days filled with friends sharing in fellowship.
Many of our young people will be planning journeys too.
Some, after leaving school, will soon prepare for a journey to college or new workplace. Others shall be getting ready to begin school for the first time. It is an exciting time.
My grandson is caught up in this excitement. He is in the process of embarking on his first trip to school and, discussing with him this new journey that he would soon be making, he nevertheless was found to be a little apprehensive and quipped: “I will try school for one day!”
This remark made us, as grandparents, smile as we reflected that the journey he would soon make would not only be for one day, but for many more days.
Yet still, at the tender age of five, he is unaware of the happiness and companionship that will not only shape his whole life but, in a similar way to the people who prepare trips, journeys near and far this summer, he may also find that time filled in the company of others is always precious and valuable.
This year, millions of people shared together through press and media, the journey of our Queen in her Diamond Jubilee Year. It was truly remarkable to witness footage of our Queen sharing, in times past and present, journeys which were enjoyable for her and those she met.
Close to the end of the public coverage of the celebrations of the remarkable 60 years in dedicated Christian service, it was really uplifting to hear, close to the end of the public celebrations held outside Buckingham Palace, the Guards playing the hymn ‘Thou art before me Lord thou art behind’.
The hymn is well known and taken from the book of Psalms which proclaims the comfort that God is with us at all times in all places, in all our changing circumstances.
My prayer for each one of you this June and in the months ahead is that you are comforted by these words of the psalmist and, wherever you choose to travel, you do so in the knowledge, as the psalmist confirms, of God, who is our ever-present comforting shepherd, redeemer, strength and guide; one who travels with us always, before us and behind us.