I live in a world of instants and I know that essentially I am an impatient person and want things now. I want the WiFi to start immediately, and I often end up opening loads of pages as I impatiently press the buttons thinking it is not responding. My porridge is the two minute variety and my soup is made in a mug. I have so many time saving devices that I should have so much free time, but I am busier than ever. A recent break found me with three days of doing nothing. I had taken no craft to make things, the garden was amazingly weed free and needed no tending, the house was clean and tidy and I had left my laptop at home so I didn’t have any work with me. I was bored out of my mind for the first few hours. I couldn’t settle to read or even think. A walk took some energy but mentally the guilt of doing nothing was unsettling. It took me the three days to get into a rhythm of being and not just doing. I certainly needed the break, which in effect broke the rhythm of extreme busyness that had been with me for some weeks.
When I was student deacon we had a talk on ordering our time. The speaker chose to speak on the creation story from Genesis 1. After he read the passage he ended it saying “and on the seventh day God rested.” Then he looked at us and said “Lucky old God, his work was done – but yours will never be finished. There will always be the letter to write, the phone call to make, the visit to do. You must make time to rest.”
Resting for a practical person is not easy, but the benefits can be enormous. Of course God hadn’t finished the creation, he is still creating today, and I sometimes wonder whether he is impatient and frustrated with me! Frustrated that I don’t learn from previous mistakes. Frustrated that I sometimes do things the difficult way. Frustrated that I don’t “stop to smell the roses,” though I am getting better at doing that! But even if he does get frustrated with me I know he loved me to the uttermost and he made me so he knows all my strengths and weaknesses.
I have the privilege of time to do what I want and need to do, I have the opportunity to rest, unlike many in our world I have choices of what I eat and I can go and buy instant food for busy days as well as having the joy of being able to make things too. But what I got out of that enforced rest was spending time just being with God, talking, thanking, reading, musing and resting.
I don’t know what your circumstances are, but even if the only space you can have to rest your mind and stop is at the washing up bowl then I can only urge you to take it and make it yours. If you can go away then try not to do what I usually do and take loads to do. And if you are into things happening now – as I am – then consciously stop and use the time for the kettle to boil to pray or just look at a flower and marvel that we live in this incredible wonderful world and every moment we have is a precious gift.
Loving and creating God, thank you for the rhythms of the days and seasons, for the rest times and busy times, for the gift of life and living and for your love that surrounds and holds us in all times and situations. Whether we are conscious of it or not, you are a faithful God who is always there. May we be faithful back to you, and take time to rest in you and on you.
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Prayers for November written by Denise Creed.
Picture: free image from internet.