This is a very busy week at a very busy time of year. And it is all too easy for me to get swept along in a tide of doing: partly that's how I like it, partly that's how I'm made, and partly that's just the way it is. If I'm honest I woke up thinking 'oh heck, it's my turn to post today and I haven't had time to think about it...' So what I am writing is to myself as much as, if not more than, to anyone else.
Yesterday I briefly re-engaged with a lifestyle I'd left behind long ago, rushing through airports among be-suited professionals and hi-viz-vested staff, hearing the ubiquitous 'I'm just calling from the airport on my mobile' calls designed to impress someone, somewhere, seeing the EXCEL spreadsheets on the laptops, the pencils poised over the latest report on that all important project.... Busy, busy busy.
Yesterday I was conducting a funeral 300 miles from home. The format was church then crematorium, and it is a 30 minute drive between the two. One of the practices I have developed for such occasions is to invite families to choose a piece of quiet music to be used for a short time of quiet reflection between the opening sentences, prayer and Bible reading the final act of committal. Just a couple of minutes of stillness, a 'few moments pause to reflect' as I usually say.
Today is our second lunchtime Advent reflection and prayer. Here, too, is space to be still, to listen to music, to reflect on words of scripture or simply to be. Today the theme is 'the miracle of hospitality' and the focus on the beginning of Luke 2.
Psalm 46 includes some words that boil down, broadly, to this:
Desist! Stop it. Take a moment
Focus on me, on God
Be still and allow yourselves to be aware of me...
Wherever we are, and whatever we are doing, no matter much how we thrive on activity, it is good to take a moment, to reflect on God's blessing received, to enjoy God's presence now, and to hope in God's promises to come. Take a moment...