“I AM HERE” What on earth …

The latest Sercombe motorbike adventure was to the Outer Hebrides.  Just me, my big BMW R1200GS and my red tent.  In case you’ve never been there – and few people round West Sussex have as it’s 730 miles away –  this string of islands is off the northwest coast of Scotland, windy, rainy and cold.

And in the middle of a mile-long deserted pristine beach I saw this:

Version 2

No footprints anywhere near, except mine, and by the time I left my idyllic wild campsite overlooking the sea, the engraving was no more – washed away by the waves.

Of course it was me. In a moment of spontaneous inspiration I carved “I AM HERE” with my foot in the sand – and the thought dominated my week, as I contemplated my life, my business, God, the universe, and my future. Today I’ve been thinking about it again as I camped out last night in the wilds of the South Downs catching up with some reading.  A bit existentialist I know, but the truth is, I am here, and I will be ‘here’ for a while yet.  Wherever I am, I AM.  It’s the inescapable truth, and on the basis that the truth frees us, I’m enjoying the freedom.

Yep, I’m here, and it is up to me to make of it what I will.

I’m not on that beach any more. I am here instead, writing this blog.  I moved on, came back to Sussex, and I’m two weeks older, and although I have a camera full of Hebridean photos – Butt of Lewis lighthouse, the rocky hillsides of Harris, Benbecula, Eriskay, and a welcoming pink roofed cafe in Lochmaddy – I can never, ever, recapture that moment on the beach.

In times of quiet solitude I become particularly aware of the presence of God ‘here’, where I am, with me.  It is as if He has said, not written in sand but whispered as a permanent statement deep within, “Andrew, I am here” – wherever I am, always. Regardless of the ups and downs of my life, I’m never actually alone. The Divine Presence, the Creator, present in the world He created.  With me. Here. Now. For ever.

And today that is sufficient for me.  In fact overwhelmingly more so.  Far more important than success, or money. God is here.

And He is where you are too – such is the omnipresent nature of the Holy Spirit.  Unhampered by the limitations of time and space, God is with you as you read this on your screen – closer, actually.

3000 years ago a gifted young shepherd on the run from his tormentors wrote about it. Stunningly poetic, he wrapped it up in a way I’ll never be able to.  I’ve put a few key bits of his poem for you to read quietly before you move on into the rest of your week. Take a few moments – ten minutes? – to stop and reconnect. And whilst you’ll already know that I am here for you today (yes, me, Andrew. Just a phone or Skype call or email away), far more importantly, He is too.

Enjoy.

E:  andrew@powerchange.com   M: 07771631945  Skype: andrewsercombe  Website: www.powerchange.com

Tired and Inspired.

Tiredness doesn’t just come as a result of a few late nights – or nights disturbed by young children waking up. It can be the culmination of a particularly stressful or demanding six months or two years.

Norway

Of course, I don’t mean to say stresses or demands are wrong. They’re normal for most of us, but when I’m tired I am not so likely to make good choices. My perspective slips out of focus, and I see things subtly distorted from what they really are. Better to deal with the weariness than mess up the future with an inadequate decision or an unnecessarily damaging conversation. That’s not what I want at all.

When I’m tired it’s best to be honest with myself, and schedule some rest. Although I’m not ashamed to let my sense of ‘not making it’ be seen by those close to me, there is no need to make a public announcement, or brag about how tired

I am due to the work I  do (so proudly).  One reason I’m on this earth is to encourage and inspire people and feed them, not demand sympathy strokes. Those close to me know that I know how I am, and kindly pull out a few extra stops and support me (just as I regularly do for them when they are feeling weary) and suggest I take a break!

West Scotland

Elsewhere on this blog I describe my motorbike trips round Europe. On a biking trip, particularly in the early part, I am surprised at how much I sleep. In the first week I climb into my sleeping bag at about 8.30pm and with no alarm providing a false dawn I find I sleep until nine the next morning!  It sometimes takes almost a week of going to bed when the sun goes down and allowing myself to wake naturally before I feet properly rested and start to wake to the birds singing, and feel energised for the day.

It is following such weeks that I am able to focus again on the deep simple things of life, and feed from them. As the tiredness is finally assuaged, I automatically begin to look forward to the future again. Riding on a motorbike is a solitary thing for me, and I love the peacefulness of my own company (inside my helmet!) as I ride through the seemingly limitless miles of natural beauty waiting for those who choose to notice it. With the tiredness gone, I notice more – I am more sensitive to the nuances of colour and shape in the countryside around me.  Long distance biking means travelling for hundreds – thousands – of miles through new territory, touched by the power of endless unexpected vistas, a constant flow of mountains, fiords, forests, streams, lakesand valleys.

Gower peninsular, Wales.

The days become lighter somehow, more worth living, more inspirational.  I notice the better bits of life, rather than the less pleasant ones. As each one reminds me that life can be very good, I am again seduced by the hope of tomorrow and what is possible for me if I’m willing to engage. By taking time out for rest and recreation (it is literally re-creation for body and brain as it renews itself in those rest times) I discover a healthier perspective of my place and role in the world, find people that much more appealing,  and realise again just how good it is to be alive.

It’s summer.  Be kind to yourself. Take a rest and find your future again.