Familiarity can be comforting.
I had a short break in my hometown earlier this week, pictured above, and the familiarity gave me the peace and rest that I needed. Although I haven’t lived there for fifteen years, I know it well from visiting frequently. The rolling hills that in some high places you can see the sea from, the 'Embracing the Sea' statue and The Beach Parlour on the seafront, the pastel coloured houses, the high street, the church that I was dedicated in. It’s familiar and I’m drawn to it.
Friends is my favourite TV show, and I’ve been watching it since I was twelve. I know exactly what is going to happen, to the point where I know most of the scripts. I enjoy doing BuzzFeed quiz’, because the show is so familiar to me, I can get most, if not all, the answers right. To be honest, I don’t think the acting is spectacular, and some of the storylines and punchlines are now problematic in 2020. However, I will still continue to watch it on repeat because the familiarity is comforting. In the early hours of the morning when I can’t sleep, sometimes I switch on Friends. It’s easy to watch, its familiarity is comforting.
I wonder what is a comforting familiarity for you. Perhaps it’s a place or a TV show, maybe it’s a person, or even a piece of clothing.
When we are struggling, we’re anxious, overwhelmed, exhausted, or even just plodding on, I think that The Bible can bring a comforting familiarity. I’m often encouraging my young people to find Bible verses to use like mottos, to repeat over and over until they become familiar and become comforting in a storm. Perhaps that is The Lord’s Prayer; repeating these familiar words when we have no other words to pray, when we rise in the morning and sleep again in the evening. Or perhaps it’s Psalm 23, repeating it until it becomes familiar, and the themes of rescue, companionship and protection become comforting.
I encourage you to find a verse or a passage that you can repeat over the next week until it becomes so familiar to you, and brings you comfort.