In Glasgow on Monday the weather finally showed itself. After three near perfect days of sun and no rain, It poured all day…not just showers here and there, but a soaking rain that there was no escaping. Hopped on a bus to get to the Glasgow Cathedral. Perfect place for a rainy Monday. It is massive and beautiful. The stones seemed even older than they are when they were soaking wet.
Monday afternoon I spent my time wandering through the Kelvingrove Art Museum. It too, is massive. They have beautiful organ on the top floor balcony and there was a concert. Pretty amazing to walk around seeing art by Monet and the like while live organ music wafted through the hallways. I almost forgot that it was pouring outside as I lost myself in the exhibits.
After covering every inch of the Kelvingrove, and with no end to the rain in sight, I decided to give in to my exhaustion and take nap back at my b&b. I had to get over a little guilt there. Odd maybe, but it was hard to convince myself that it would be ok to rest on this vacation. I don’t have trouble doing that at the beach or mountains in NC. But in Glasgow, not sure when I’d ever visit again, it was hard to let myself take a break. I wanted to take full advantage of every minute in Scotland and a nap seemed like a waste of my precious time in the city. But I was tired. I had been going non-stop since I landed. Add the thick rain into the mix and I was on the verge of grumpy. So I gave in and I had one of the best naps ever. Maybe I missed seeing the People’s Palace and the shopping on Buchanan St. But taking time to rest was worth it. Feeling like I was going to miss out on something in Glasgow was very short sighted. Monday was day 5 of my 12 day adventure. Taking a break was necessary to enjoying the rest of my time here. Better to miss out on a few things than to be a grumpy traveller for the next half of my journey. SAB-BAT-TIC-AL Kim. It’s HARD! But I’m short sighted about rest when I’m not traveling too. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” tends to be my motto far too often. Not a good example for my youth. Not a good way to honor the commandment for holy rest.
The nap served me well as Monday evening, I was the recipient of more Scottish hospitality. A friend in Durham connected me with some of her friends in Glasgow that she met while working for three years at Netherlee Parish. Tom, the minister, and his wife Catherine had me over for dinner along with their good friends Niall (who serves on Session at Netherlee) and his wife Helen. Helen had just arrived in from a girls weekend in Spain (can you even imagine!?). They had all visited Durham and Niall was bummed that he forgot to wear his Durham Bulls hat to greet me. I love it!
It was a fantastic evening of food and conversation–comparing the UK and US on all sorts of topics: politics, religion, economy, food, and we all agreed that Presbyterians in neither country do Sabbath very well. They were asking the same questions I’ve been pondering. How do we encourage people to Sabbath when so many other things have a higher priority than worship and rest? They all had the same experience of church as many Presbyterians are having in the US: dwindling numbers; arguments over ordination standards (the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland just approved the ordination of homosexuals last week and is beginning to see the more conservative churches talk of leaving the denomination just like in the States); and younger people having a disinterest and distrust of mainstream Christianity. As we bantered possible solutions back and forth we came up with no real plan to fix things, of course. But, with all of the challenges facing the church today (both the Church of Scotland and the PC(USA)) I was grateful that those two churches brought all 5 of us together on this particular evening. We Presbyterians like to pride ourselves on our “connectional church”. Turns out those connections extend all the way across the pond.
After Monday’s nap, I was surely better able to appreciate my time with these good folks from Netherlee Parish. What else might we enjoy more fully after a good, long nap?