Friday, 10 July 2009

Time to be...

How easy it is to rush around doing this and that and the other...and not listening. Not listening to God, not really listening to other people, not listening to ourselves... . Ian Poulton's blog on "For the Fainthearted" (9th July) addresses the question of clergy stress - and that got me thinking about the ways in which we can avoid the "I'm too busy syndrome".
Of course we're busy - and we're not unique in being busy. But some of the "busy" comes from trying to live up to the expectations of other people and not listening to what God intends that we should do. Some of being "busy" comes from a need in ourselves to appear to be doing a good job, and if we aren't busy then we're not working hard enough! And no doubt some comes from poor time management!
The trouble is - if we appear "busy" or "too busy" how can people approach us? Shouldn't we give the impression of unhurried presence rather than talk about all the things we have to do?
No doubt there are times (often before Easter and Christmas) when a great deal has to be achieved in a few days....or there are occasions when one crisis after another seems to eat up the days.... . But, for most of the year we choose how to spend the days.
Spending time in God's presence is not wasted. Our days work more efficiently if they develop out of stillness and rest. Spending time listening to another person is not wasted. For those moments they have been in the presence of one who ministered to them by giving them the space to be.
The choice is ours. Will we run around like "headless chickens" and achieve as much as they do...or will we allow God's Holy Spirit to direct each moment?
"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart". Psalm 37:4.


Ian Poulton said...

I think there is also a desire to appear 'busy', even when we are not particularly so. We wish to justify ourselves in the sight of our vestry members/parishioners/colleagues, which begs the question of who it is we are really serving.

Chris Tracey said...

There's an Italian proverb: those who go slowly, go safely and go far.

If we rush things because we're busy and haven't enough time, how come we have time to redo things we could have done right the first time if we had just gone about it a bit more slowly?

Rev Elizabeth said...

Sorry I'd not replied to either of you...not busy...just enjoying having a friend stay for the week and the rose gardens...and blogging was far down the "must do" list. I like the Italian proverb Chris.
One of my parishioners works in an office where they are not allowed to use the word "busy". They may be "on the phone" or "with a client" but not "busy". A good attitude! He told me that after my sermon on "Taking Time Off"...must post that on the blog later.