5th July 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!

“[Jesus] said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest a while.’ For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.”
Mark 6:31 (HCSB)

Talking to someone who had recently retired, I asked the inevitable question: “What are you finding to do with yourself now?” His reply: “I’m as busy as ever—only now I don’t get paid for doing it!” But he went on: “I do get to choose now when I do things. I am more my own master than I have ever been.”

And thinking about it, that’s true for most of us. For most of our lives we answer to others. To schoolmasters and parents when we are children; to employers for most of our daylight hours when we are working. Some people I know have become so resentful of being contacted outside of office hours that they have taken to switching off ‘work’ mobile phones and emails. One friend of mine even confided that he now routinely turns off his phone when he goes to the lavatory or for a coffee break, such is the level of intrusion he experiences, so busy is he.

And even young children are busy, busy, busy. My nine-year-old grand-niece, if she is not swimming, horse riding, cheerleading, craft-making or doing something on the computer, is busy playing soccer and cricket. At times we human beings, young and old, need periods of quiet so as to be able to reflect on the things of importance in our lives. Being constantly busy can hide us from what really is important in our lives.

Who reads anymore, especially the young?—unless it’s the latest Harry Potter. This is the year of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. There are various programmes to read the Bible in a year. Why not pick one and start, quietly, to read it? If you haven’t done so ever, or haven’t done so for a while, best start in the New Testament and then graduate to the Old. The Old makes more sense when you have mastered the New.

Actually, it doesn’t take that much of an effort—just some time and determination, especially in the dull bits. Perhaps a more modern translation than the faithful KJV might be helpful. Best of the bunch for my money at present is the Holmen Christian Standard Bible.

Most merciful Father, thank you for Life. So often we take our Life for granted. Help us to realise that Life is preparation for our Future, not all that there is. Being busy can distract us away from what is really important for us, so we need your vision and perspective in our Life. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford

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