Posted by Anne Witton on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 Under: Reflections
I have just had quite a busy two months, what with a work trip to Paris, running training in Birmingham, speaking at two conferences in London, doing a Master’s assignment, going to Granny’s funeral, completing the 3 week summer school intensive for my Master’s in Gloucester and visiting family in Manchester. I’m now home and supposedly having a bit of a rest, but I’ve realised how hard it is to stop.
I have a wooden block by my bed with the verse ‘Be still and know that I am God’. Being still in God’s presence is a really important discipline for me to practise as I’m not very good at it.
I sometimes feel like I’m ‘too busy’ and don’t have any control over the rush of activity, but maybe that’s not the case. Maybe I just need to make better choices about my time. I don’t have to have the TV on while I eat my tea. I don’t have to check my phone every 20 mins. I don’t have to listen to a podcast while I’m walking along. I could just think, pray or be still with God.
Our churches often suffer from the same cult of speed and reverence of busyness. We go to conferences with jam-packed itineraries and are confronted with stalls full of all the books we’d like to read if only we had more time. It’s hard to be a Christian in these distracting times when many of us are resource-rich but time-poor. It can be tempting to think that people who are on more rotas are somehow holier or more obedient to God. We feel pressure to do, to achieve, to tick things off lists. We can even make our spiritual life a treadmill of working through devotionals, courses and prayer lists.
Being still and letting God be God can seem like a waste of time. Whilst it is important and worthwhile to work hard, to exercise, to serve and volunteer, to invest in friendships, to travel, to eat well and to pursue hobbies, it’s also important to rest. And by that I mean properly rest, not play mobile games in front of the TV or attempt to read a book whilst also stirring a curry with your free hand. It’s important to build in time to do nothing.
I don’t very often take time just to sit or lie in God’s presence doing nothing. In fact, I hardly ever ‘do nothing’. Maybe I feel guilty that it’s a waste of time and I could be doing something more productive. But then again, maybe I’d be more productive, creative and Christlike if I only gave myself some breathing space with the Lord. It’s worth a try...
Here are some books to help (but of course don’t feel any pressure to read them!):
In : Reflections
Tags: busyness time rest