Sunday, 22 March 2020

Made for Rest - Learning to Pace Ourselves in a Time of Crisis

Like many, I’ve found the past week disconcerting, strange and worrisome. As a parish priest, I’m learning what on earth it means to be a priest in a time of social-distancing, self-isolation, and no public services. Like many priests, this has entailed both creativity (using the internet to broadcast worship) and going back to the basic call to pray, love and (using safe means!) connect with people.

This last week has been very busy. I’m not moaning. I’m stating a fact. As Area Dean as well as parish priest, there’s been a lot to consider, respond to, and rework. I can’t imagine how difficult things are for people with real responsibility, like emergency workers, senior leaders and those who have direct care for people with great personal need. I also have no idea how it must feel to be self-employed and lose all one’s income overnight or be anxious about renting and the threat being made homeless.

What has come home to me is how tempting it is to try and find new ways of being busy. Instinctively, I am a busy person and I think that’s okay. I rather love it. However, this week, my diary has gone from having things happening almost every hour during the day and evening, to seemingly nothing.

At the same time, the crisis has provided new things to be busy about. In so many ways I’ve been busy seeking to cope, with good colleagues, with all that crisis throws our way, as well as meet real felt need in the community. A signal of trying to cope with this new reality is my lack of sleep and rest. The word ‘unprecedented’ has been over-used this week. However, there is a reason it has been used so unrestrainedly.

For, from a Church of England point-of-view, there is no one – from Archbishop to the most-freshly baptised Christian – who is not facing an entirely new set of social and ecclesial realities. We are all improvising. We are all hoping, and we are all scared. We have come to realise that our old ways of going on as Church need to be re-examined. As a Church in a time of virus, we cannot rely of lazy formulae or many of our ready-made assumptions.

This past week I’ve thought a lot about that line attributed (in my head!) to the great spiritual writer, Gerard Hughes: ‘We are made for rest, not for work’. In the midst of stress and busyness and the need to address crisis conditions it has resonated around my body. 

Gerry Hughes’ remark is a reminder that, for as much as we are inclined to define ourselves by ‘work’, rest is God’s defining gift.

I say this with all due caution. I’ve experienced unemployment and enforced worklessness as a result of ill-health and disability. I know how important work is, for financial as well as psychological and social reasons.

However, I do worry that too often people like me define ourselves by the work we do. Work is valuable, but few of us, if any, will say – when we come before the Living God – if only I’d spent more time in the office. 

Rest requires slowing-down, letting-go and learning to listen to and make friends with silence, space and seeming pointlessness. 

If God rests so can we. We take our cue from him. He is the one who goes ahead and shows us who we are made to be. 

If there is one thing us ministers can rediscover in these strange times, it is rest. Those of us who lead are not always good at taking time out to befriend God’s quietude, silence and restfulness. Let us dare. It will really matter in the tough and testing days to come.

9 comments:

  1. This virus is a natural test of the frailty of philosophy of Capitalism and the inate strength of Socialism and how correct Albert Einstein was in ,,1949 to condemn Capitalism evil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband and I have been married for about 7 yrs now. We were happily married with two kids, a boy and a girl. 3 months ago, I started to notice some strange behavior from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone. He started coming home late from work, he hardly care about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes he goes out and doesn't even come back home for about 2-3 days. I did all I could to rectify this problem but all to no avail. I became very worried and needed help. As I was browsing through the Internet one day, I came across a website that suggested that Dr Great can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he did a spell for me. Two days later, my husband came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my family are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Great . If you need a spell caster that can cast a spell that truly works, I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you. This is his E-mail: 

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      My husband and I have been married for about 7 yrs now. We were happily married with two kids, a boy and a girl. 3 months ago, I started to notice some strange behavior from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone. He started coming home late from work, he hardly care about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes he goes out and doesn't even come back home for about 2-3 days. I did all I could to rectify this problem but all to no avail. I became very worried and needed help. As I was browsing through the Internet one day, I came across a website that suggested that Dr Great can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he did a spell for me. Two days later, my husband came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my family are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Great . If you need a spell caster that can cast a spell that truly works, I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you. This is his E-mail: 

      infinitylovespell@gmail.com or infinitylovespell@yahoo.com

      WhatsApp +2348118829899

      Blog http://infinitylovespell1.blogspot.com








      My husband and I have been married for about 7 yrs now. We were happily married with two kids, a boy and a girl. 3 months ago, I started to notice some strange behavior from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone. He started coming home late from work, he hardly care about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes he goes out and doesn't even come back home for about 2-3 days. I did all I could to rectify this problem but all to no avail. I became very worried and needed help. As I was browsing through the Internet one day, I came across a website that suggested that Dr Great can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he did a spell for me. Two days later, my husband came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my family are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Great . If you need a spell caster that can cast a spell that truly works, I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you. This is his E-mail: 

      infinitylovespell@gmail.com or infinitylovespell@yahoo.com

      WhatsApp +2348118829899

      Blog http://infinitylovespell1.blogspot.com

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  2. The church needs badly to review its ways of operating, virus or no. The church doesn't function healthily through parish priests running about doing everything; it must be more lay-led if it is to be effective as salt and light in society. In that sense, the church doesn't operate through Sunday services. It feels to me right now that the church is more alive, as we are sharing coping strategies, electronically networking, sharing prayer requests and helpful materials, setting up neighbourhood support groups etc. The C of E needs to learn to let the laity lead where qualified to do so , and embrace the fact that we value interaction, as enabled by social media: many of us do not wish to be passive consumers and the church is losing people by not accepting this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My husband and I have been married for about 7 yrs now. We were happily married with two kids, a boy and a girl. 3 months ago, I started to notice some strange behavior from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone. He started coming home late from work, he hardly care about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes he goes out and doesn't even come back home for about 2-3 days. I did all I could to rectify this problem but all to no avail. I became very worried and needed help. As I was browsing through the Internet one day, I came across a website that suggested that Dr Great can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he did a spell for me. Two days later, my husband came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my family are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Great . If you need a spell caster that can cast a spell that truly works, I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you. This is his E-mail: 

    infinitylovespell@gmail.com or infinitylovespell@yahoo.com

    WhatsApp +2348118829899

    Blog http://infinitylovespell1.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I NEED A  LOVE SPELL CASTER (DR. GBOJIE) THAT HELPED ME RESTORE MY RELATIONSHIP 
     I was absolutely desperate to get my husband back. Life without my husband was a real mess for me and my children. i wanted a dramatic change and I thought love spell could be the solution. After discussing the resolution with Him, he gave me hope that he will restore my marriage. I felt confident that he will actually make my husband to return home and he did! It’s fantastic what this great spell caster has done for me, his help is priceless! I don’t know what I would have done without his help, He does his job so well he is organized and highly functional, i believe he is the best service to use i can count on when it comes to restoring relationship, I was floored that his worked was perfect, if you need help, ️ ️ ️ ️ ️ ️ ️ ️ gbojiespiritualtemple@gmail.com or whatsapp :  +2349066410185 check out his website :http://gbojiespiritualtemple.website2.me    

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