Saturday, July 04, 2009

Stupidly busy

My apologies for blog silence. A recent decision to create a "to do" list instead of simply agonising about those things left undone has been helpful in terms of attention to details, but less so in terms of allowing space when there is nothing actually pressing. So though there haven't been that many extraordinary events (OK so our new curate was ordained deacon last Sunday...but still... :-) ) time to reflect and time to blog have been conspicuous by their absence.

As I've noted before, the trouble is that for me thinking aloud, to at least a notional audience, is an almost essential part of reflecting at all - and as we all know (together, now, girls & boys) "The unreflected life is not worth living" - so I'm not specially pleased with this state of affairs. However, it seems I am by no means alone. While one blogging pastor on sabbatical is having to justify that needful taking of a sabbath to a congregation that should know better, and another is contemplating the gentle art of plate spinning, this week's Bible Society "news watch" included the following...

Britain’s workaholic Church ‘tired but hungry’

‘It is no longer just prayer that brings the church to its knees, but also tiredness.’ This is the finding of a London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) and Spring Harvest survey conducted recently. The biggest struggles identified by 55 per cent of three thousand respondents were fatigue and time pressures. Home/work balance was an issue for almost half of those surveyed (47 per cent), long hours at work for 45 per cent and parenting a challenge for 33 per cent. The survey also found that the workplace was the biggest challenge for people to live out their Christian faith (43 per cent), followed by the neighbourhood (34 per cent) and home (24 per cent). Despite these pressures, some 57 per cent said they ‘actively’ see themselves as apprentices of Christ and 54 per cent pray intentionally about how God will use them.

Source: Eg (June 09)

It seems to me that there might be quite a thin line between use and abuse (not, of course, by God - but just conceivably by the church....) and that we all need to stop. and. think. before we're too wiped out to serve anyone at all.

And yes, I confess I did fail to take my day off yesterday...A funeral visit that my diary could not accommodate elsewhere, plus a visiting African bishop (who was, as it happens, well worth breaking the sabbath for)...
But I'm carving out some time on Monday, no matter what my "to do" list tells me.
Because having noted that I'm stupidly busy, to carry on being that busy would be just plain stupid!

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