31st December 2013

Dear Diary 

“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’”
Mark 6:30-32 (NIV UK)

Every year, most of us either buy or are given a diary. I need one so that I can keep track of all my appointments and the things I have to do; without it I would be lost. In fact I bought my 2014 diary in October because my schedule of things to do for the year ahead was already filling up. 

When I got my new diary home I looked through my current one to transfer some information and I couldn’t help noticing that there was something written on just about every day from January to December. That’s the trouble with diaries. I find mine absolutely essential but there is always a temptation to write something on every page. There is always the pressure of ‘can you fit me in during this window of opportunity?’ or ‘have you got space in your diary to go hither, thither and yon (and back again)?’ 

And so it goes on. Time and tide wait for no man; there is always something that needs to done. And so the danger is we become caught in an endless cycle of business as every gap in the diary is filled. 

That got me thinking that maybe in 2014 I need to schedule in some down time. If Jesus felt the need to tell the apostles to take a break and have a rest, I’m sure the same advice is equally pertinent to hurried Christians today. When we live at a busy pace, rest is the chance for us to rejuvenate and avoid burnout. 

But it goes beyond that. Rather than simply recharging us so we can carry on tackling our work again, rest can change how we view our lives. Rest gives us the ability to refocus. If during our down time we can “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7), then our attention can shift from activity to relationship and to keeping our focus on Christ instead of drifting into our own hustle and bustle. 

For my 2014 diary I have another entry to make: “Dear diary, today I’m going have a break, take a rest, be still before the Lord and develop a closer relationship with him.” It might well be the most important appointment I keep. How about you? 

Father, please help me to take time out of my busy schedule to spend it in your presence. Instead of me filling my time with my activity, help me to enjoy time with you so that our relationship is my top priority and my main focus.

Study by Barry Robinson


barryrobinsonAbout the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God London
Indian YMCA Student Hostel
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square

Meeting time:
Saturday 2:30pm
Local Congregational Contact:
Martin Ryan
Phone:  020 8202 3998
Email:   martin_ryan@wcg.org.uk

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One Response to “31st December 2013”

  1. John Magowan on December 31st, 2013 10:17 am

    Some good thoughts there Barry for the busy Christian. It’s so easy to be ‘doing things for God’ and to neglect spending quiet time with Him. Thank you for all your positive contributions to this site.

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