Vicar's Letter - March 2017

      Vicar’s letter – Hurry, hurry, hurry.

Hurrying from one thing to the next with no time to stop and enjoy life is surely one of the most frustrating ways to live. There is constant activity but no space to reflect. We lurch from endless busyness to being laid out by exhaustion. We avoid dealing with the deep stuff because we are distracted by the superficial. It might be classed as a key symptom of the subtle sickness that has invaded much of our society; a sickness that is seen in so many indicators of unhappiness and despair.

Hurrying is a sign that we think that the world cannot do without us. It shows that we have put ourselves at the very centre of our universe, for our to do list drives our agenda. We have little room for the needs of others. We often have no room for God.

One of the most challenging things about my job as vicar is that in some small way I should seek to reflect the life of Jesus. This provides me with an unending reminder of how easily I get things wrong. For, as I plan and pursue all that I can do, in Jesus I see someone who was never in a hurry. He always had time for those around him and was open to the opportunities that arose to help those in trouble. Jesus often used stories that reflected the natural world around him; he spoke of farmers waiting for crops to grow and the right time of the harvest. In nature we see patience that brings forth much fruit, for the seasons have their own rhythms that cannot be altered.

One of the very good things for me about having a sabbatical at this time last year was the reminder that I am not essential. As much as I liked to think that I was important the world of my work went on without me for those three months. That helped me to regain a right perspective, to slow me down a little. But how easy it is to slip back into the old ways. To hurry, hurry, hurry because that seems to be the best thing to do. To try to fit in that extra thing that looks so necessary or attractive.

The Christian way of life has always called for times to slow down and stop. We are reminded that God made us for rest as well as for work. It is still a good plan to keep a Sabbath; a time to bring back some balance. A seven-day a week society may be productive but it can also suck all joy out of life. There was a time when nearly all shops shut for most of the weekend so that people had time to spend with family. If we want to rebuild our broken Britain we may need to slow down and make time to strengthen relationships so that we can be more resilient in this ever-changing world. So let’s not get caught up in our frantic, frenzied, fast-lane culture. Instead why not make space for friends and for family and for time to reconnect to who we truly are.

May the God who made time itself grant you his peace,                     Neil


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