Thursday, 09 May 2024 11:55

Taking time out for some R&R

Written by  Farmer's Chaplain Colin Miller
Farmer's Chaplain, Colin Miller Farmer's Chaplain, Colin Miller

OPINION: Quite recently I had an interesting chat with one of our local business owners. They run a garage and vehicle service centre in town.

They provide a great service to our rural community, good people with the support of a good team. When we moved into the area several years ago, other local farmers recommended them to us.

I asked if they had been busy lately, as I recalled not being able to get one of our vehicles in for a warrant before Christmas. The answer was yes, they were still very busy, but they were finding it quite different now, to their normal.

They seemed to be getting a lot of big jobs, the major repairs stuff, rather than the more regular maintenance work. I asked what might have brought this about. Not being 100% sure, they felt it was possibly influenced by Covid and the lockdown dramas, with vehicle care not being given priority. But then added to that, as the tighter financial times had started to bite, perhaps people were pushing off their regular maintenance and servicing schedule in favour of meeting other more important budget expenses.

Yep, things can and do come up that push the more routine stuff down the list of priorities.

That’s life, isn’t it.

Of course, for many in our rural sector the mortgage shouts loud when it comes time to divvy up whatever coin is available! Medical expenses too, can sneak their way up a budget list almost overnight.

A senior mechanic told me many sunsets ago, if you can only do one thing with your vehicle, then change your oil and filter regularly. Don’t put it off, he said. Great advice, for sure.

To this day I have done that. So, the ’97 RAV4 we got for our two younger children to learn to drive in, many years ago, has now gone through 320,000km. And it’s not done yet! The only attention it’s ever had is just regular maintenance.

Whilst we humans are infinitely more complex in design and engineering than any vehicle ever will be, there are still a few valid comparisons that can be made. And they serve as useful life lessons if we ever happen to slow down enough to listen.

We too are simply all the better for some regular care and ‘maintenance’.

I well remember hearing a speaker, probably 30 years ago, refer to this “burning the candle at both ends” thing. He told us how he had taken that to a whole new level. He had, he said, broken the candle in half, and had been burning it at all four ends.

And yes, it had caught up with him. No surprises there!

We are all the better for some regular R & R. Google reminded me R & R stands for rest and relaxation. Some go for rest and recreation. I have also heard it put as rest and refreshing. Which is right, you wonder? I’d say, take all three of them!

Should we persistently push that off, then a couple of other R’s may well come knocking. How about reflection and recuperation for starters?

And the care thing. What a blessing to have true friends in your life – people who truly care and take it beyond just words. And family too.

Yep, sadly I do realise family can also bring some rather ugly stuff with it.

We have helped and continue to help some get past some pretty yuk stuff. But then, there’s always ‘The Good Shepherd’ himself. The care he gives is second to none.

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