Monthly Reflection – November 2015
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
I am busy- I am just saying! I don’t want any sympathy from anyone- but I just wanted you all to know that Keith is a busy man. Let me explain; I have just completed a week long course with lots of travel, I am currently running the men’s group at my church and am already planning the next two events, I am booked to speak at a couple of churches in the new year and I need to start planning my sermons, I have reflections to write, an event to plan for the CPA regionally, I have to supervise a team of officers- and deal with all the paperwork that goes with it, we have two daughters- one aged seven who needs to go to stage school, do homework, guitar practice, homework, swimming and one aged ten months- that requires no further explanation, I also want to spend time with Mrs Evans and enjoy her company – there is also housework, car cleaning, DIY and planning for Christmas………….
I guess however that you are now sitting staring at your screen saying something like ‘He isn’t the only one- I am busy too!’
The fact that I have come to learn over many years is that each and every one of us is busy and that there is always something else that needs doing! With this in mind I want to ask you a question- ‘When you are busy what is it that you stop doing?’
I was reflecting recently on just how busy we all are in our everyday lives and how we all respond to being busy- usually we rush around a bit, put some things off till tomorrow, neglect some stuff a bit- do the bare minimum on the things we can get away with and only do really important things- Of all the things I have listed above can you decide which are the really important things and guess what gets neglected first when I am really busy…? I will come back to that….!
Whilst I was at the recent CPA leaders’ conference we were all offered a really great piece of advice by the Bishop of Bristol – Mike Hill; he was offering us some advice about our walk with God and said ‘Sometimes you just need to slow down- why not join the longest queue in the supermarket instead of the shortest- when you do that it is almost a release from all the stress of getting served quickly’
Well…. I tried it last week; I was in a large well known Supermarket where I live and it was busy! There were people everywhere, screaming children, vast trollies of goods, harassed people desperately looking to get round the store and out as quickly as possible…. In fact I haven’t seen our local shop of choice that busy for ages! I scouted the queues at the checkout when Bishop Hills words came to my mind- I found the longest queue and happily waited to be served- it was such a release; I knew I was going to be there a while and all of a sudden I didn’t mind- I stood, waited and watched the world go by- I watched the other shoppers frantically seeking a shortest queue and the disappointment on some of their faces as another shopper beat them too it- I didn’t care my queue was long and I knew it- it was almost restful!
Sometimes we all need to slow down a bit- all of us! My list above is just a brief snap shot of how busy I am- I would expect that your lists would be similar and I would expect that it really is the most important things that suffer when you are busy just like me….. My family! It is very easy to throw ourselves into work and church work or housework as it is measurable- what you can’t measure is the effect that neglecting the ones you love has on them and the effect that not resting has no you; when you look at it that way you realise that your wellbeing, your family and loved ones are the important things! I was recently at home and in the middle of some urgent work when our daughter Abigail asked me ‘Daddy will you read me a story?’ My automatic reaction was ‘No’ even before I had thought about it- but then I stopped myself and just simply said ‘Yes that is a great idea’. We sat together and had a lovely time where I read Abi a story and then she read me one- it was a wonderful time where it was just Abi and I enjoying being Daddy and Daughter- It was truly restful!
There are times were we all need to learn to stop and rest- it can be hard for people I know but sometimes things are just going to have to wait- we can as believers in Christ take comfort and rest in scripture- in Psalm 23 1-6 we read:
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, and he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
In this beautiful piece of scripture we read that when we need to we can rest! We can rest knowing that we have a God who loves us totally! We can lie down in green pastures and that God will restore our souls!
So this month I have a challenge for you all in the busy run up to Christmas- join the longest queue, say yes to someone you love even though you know that you are busy! Take the time to take time for those around you instead of busily doing things, take time for yourself- stop rest have that cuppa- Lie down in Green pastures, beside the still waters and let the Lord Jesus restore your soul!