I often read blogs and articles about how important it is to take time out to be quiet, to replenish the batteries of life, and to have some “Me” time. It sounds wonderful, and a goal to aim at.
…the reality of my life over the last 6 months has made this really difficult. Much of my brain space has been consumed with understanding, reacting and planning for how to live when my mum has developed an incredibly rapid form of vascular dementia. I thought I had appreciated some of the difficulties that such a cruel disease can bring, to the individual, and to the family. The grief reactions kick in, and for me, there was a lot of shock; we had witnessed a slow loss of short-term memory, but then the memory seems to be flung off the edge of a cliff, and we all had to make some rapid changes.
During this time, I was trying to immerse myself in the Old Testament, to prepare for a series of 8 preaching lectures in my Home Church on Samuel, Saul, David and Solomon. I find the research for such a series fascinating, intense and extremely time-consuming. I have managed a few days off physically, but the brain has not switched off for a while. I find myself understanding that I have this love/hate relationship with preaching. Love the preparation, get intensely nervous immediately before delivery, thoroughly enjoy sharing with folk, loving the immediate aftermath, then it all starts again.
I appreciate that I am not in full time ministry, but as I am training now for a lovely little thing called Authorised Local Preacher status (simply means I can continue doing what I am currently doing!) I am blown away by the dedication and commitment to those servants of God who have to produce a sermon at least once a week, as well as deal with the everyday minutiae of this thing we call Church.
I am currently in a frantic season, running from January to Palm Sunday. Lots of opportunities for preaching and training, and worrying about its impact. In this type of season, the drive to study harder, chasing my own tail, and re-adjusting to my mum’s new circumstances, it would be so very easy to feel guilty about not taking time to rest.
This, too, I have to learn.
But I also want to shout out to all those who have frantic lives, whether in salaried ministry, or as one of the incredible army of unpaid believers who try to balance too busy a schedule. God still loves you in the busy-ness. He does not condemn you because life is frantic. He would encourage you to take moments when you can, and then when – and it is a when- this season slows down, make the most of a change of pace.
- Slow down when you can.
- Try not to make Frantic a way of Life
- Use a favourite verse like a lozenge – take long enough to savour its depth, cadence and wisdom, and apply it to the busy-ness
- And remember to breathe…