Hit the Hut!

Yes I know it's the Pizza Hut slogan but as you guessed the video was nothing to do about pizzas.     It was about the humble beach hut - so prominent a feature on the Felixstowe shoreline.   Huts are very much a matter of taste.  For those who like unspoilt coastline, then there isn't really any truly unspoilt coastline between the Orwell and Deben estuaries.  

On the other hand, huts are part of the traditional British beach scene for older resorts like Felixstowe and they are much loved both by those who own them or who hire them.  The price of huts gives us an idea of demand.

As we discovered in the video, one of the earliest reasons for the development of resorts was health.  Doctors were convinced of the health benefits of sea bathing but it's clear that for the prosperous, time at the seaside changed from being a health thing and became part of the annual social scene.   Their love of the seaside became a national phenomena during the early part of the 20th century as the development of annual leave and paid holidays led to mass tourism and the railways soon became burgeoned with seaside travellers.

For the early Victorian bathers, modesty was essential, which is why bathing machines became part of beach life in even small resorts.   The picture in the video taken in 1880 shows a number of bathing machines on a as yet almost unspoilt beach.  By 1890 onwards bathing machines were being augmented by huts people used to change and shelter in.   By the 1920s, social trends had changes such that most people didn't want or need the privacy of a bathing machine - a hut did nicely as being seen with a bathing costume on by a member of the opposite sex was less of a taboo.

Why the annual holiday?  Or for that matter the day trip or long weekend to the sea?    For most people it's rest.   What's more peaceful than looking out to sea on a warm sunny day, enjoying the sound of the waves, experiencing sea breezes and just chilling?

As I said in the video, rest was invented by God.  It was for a simple and practical reason: we need it.  Physically and mentally we need it.  Spiritually we definitely do.   We need time to taker account of life and think of God.  To remind ourselves that He does think about human beings.  Yet so often we rush though life not giving Him a single thought.

In life God prescribed us some standards for rest - a day off a week, a regular pattern of holidays - and they have passed into our society: and psychologists tell us how important a work-rest balance is.

So what other things does the Bible teach us about rest?  Here's something Jesus said in Matthew's gospel:   
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."  Matthew 11:28-30 The Message.

 This was a video with a Christian message.  But it wasn't to plug religion at you, but to emphasise as I do that the Christian faith is about a relationship with Jesus Christ.  That relationship isn't a drudge, but something that is exciting and fulfilling, even when life gets tough because He helps us with the weight of life's issues.     He compares it to rest - living freely and lightly.

There's more, because at the end of life God wants us to  be with Him eternally and that's described as rest too.    But for us as human beings it's an opt-in.   God doesn't make us choose that rest.  He just made sure that the offer is there to each man and woman.   That offer was made possible by the death of Jesus on the cross.  He's now risen and living and wants each of us to know Him.  

Starting right now.  

And He wants to know you today if you don't follow Him.   All you have to do is ask God's forgiveness for not following Him for so long, for doing things that have been wrong and following Jesus.   God always forgives all those who truly come asking for it and empowers us to follow Jesus day be day:  Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest.