A busy day at college and at work and at the desk, have all brought me to a rather tired close at the end of a long day.
I feel as though I need a holiday, and I’ll be glad of the coming time in Easter, even though I know I will be working and studying then too. But without the bus transport back and forth from Marple to Bramhall, I’ll be glad of a little more sleep and a little more locality. I will be staying in the area this Easter period, and I hope to spend a lot of time in my parish church! Yet I feel like I have to limit myself.
If I had the time, I’d spend hours of every day in the church, sitting on a pew in that stillness. And then to hear the choir anthems and hear the words of the preachers and sing together and pray and listen. Oh if I close my eyes now I can feel it inside me. And oh I look forward to spending some more time in there. But there seems to be so much to do. So many pages and pages and pages of information to memorize for exams in May/June and so many envelopes to sort and files to print and floppy discs to destroy and people to see and gifts to make and letters to write and phone calls and… etc.
Our lives always seem so full. Yet the fullness of a busy life can sometimes seem empty. And usually this is because of the lack of stillness. Of settling down for a few moments. Of singing softly. Of silently praying.
There isn’t time right now for me to be spending hours in prayer and meditation. But while I go about completing my many tasks, I keep God in mind. While I study I think about how my understanding of the world and of history is broadened. When I work I think about how the organisation and the speed needed will give me better experience for doing quick jobs well and keeping up with the pressure, and, of course, the money means I can get more theological books and poetry and music and all sorts of things!
It’s a case of being positive about everything you do, and remembering that God’s with you in the busyness. But it’s still a good idea to settle every once in a while, and get yourself topped up! To experience the stillness again. To spend some time with God alone again, without the pressure of anything around you. And all this makes me truly appreciate the Sabbath Day and why God gave it to us. I don’t necessarily think it has to be a Sunday and you have to go out of your way to avoid doing anything that you want to do that might contradict a verse of the Old Testament. God doesn’t want you to be irritated on a day of rest! That’s not the point of it! The point of being given a Sabbath Day, whether you take it as the Sunday of the week or not, is so that you can spend some extra time with God, remember what it is like to be still and to be filled with God’s Spirit and love, to enjoy life without worrying and panicking about all of life’s possible pressures, and to restore all the deep parts of yourself where you may have become tense and uncomfortable. To let go.
I think that remembering to rest is one of the most important lessons of life, as the cartoon above may demonstrate to you! It so cheerily reminds me of good old Father Joe.
Remember to rest. And remember to remember why…