My gym is in a small shopping centre in Boskruin. Besides the gym, there is a maths/science tutoring centre, a nail salon, a karate supplies shop, recently a little coffee shop and pharmacy. These form one side of a square around a little children’s playground and some concrete tables and benches.
The tutoring centre allows me a quiet space and a desk where I write for three hours after gym. Halfway through, I take a break and sit on one of the concrete benches in the shade with my instant cappuccino. That is, I did until last week.
Last Monday I saw that somebody had cut the trees, removing almost all the branches and taking away any shade over the benches.
Now I can’t sit there anymore. It’s just too hot in the searing South African sunshine. Instead I have to drink my cappuccino at the desk which is not the same at all. I realised the importance of shade, of shadow.
This morning I read Psalm 91.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (1).
What a beautiful picture this invokes of resting in God’s shade.
The Psalm ends just as encouragingly.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him, I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him, I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (14-16)
I would much rather choose the shade of God’s love and protection than the harsh, unfeeling forces of the world around me.