Has anyone else recently had the feeling, “Oh my goodness, it’s Autumn already!”?
I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone; it feels like there has been so much change – for us as a church, nationally within the political system, and globally. There is so much going on. It’s hard to keep up. One of the pitfalls I regularly have to stop myself from falling into is trying to keep up with the ever increasing rate of change. My natural instinct is to run faster and harder to keep up with all the new things that are going on in my life.
A good example of this happening to me recently was at my sister’s wedding in the middle of last month where I was officiating. It was such a massive privilege and one of the real joys and perks of being a vicar. But like with all weddings it was a very busy weekend with lots of moving parts. On the morning of the wedding, Jess, my sister, had asked Hannah and I to take a few things to the venue. A few things turned into a big car full of boxes, cheese, wedding favours, photos and boards. Needless to say everything took a lot longer than we expected. Hannah and I got back to our hotel stressed out and with just 1 hour remaining to get ready for the wedding.
Does this sound familiar? A busy life with lots of moving parts and not enough time to do everything that you have to do? I wonder what you would do in that moment? Hannah suggested that we pray. I felt like there was too much to do and we didn’t have the time, but because I’m a good husband who listens to his much wiser wife I took the advice and we sat on the sofa together to pray.
And so I found myself in the hour before marrying my sister and brother-in-law taking a moment to pray. The 5 minutes we spent on that sofa were invaluable. We really didn’t have the time to stop what we were doing and pray but in retrospect it turned out we were too busy notto pray. We needed to stop, centre ourselves back on Jesus and pray for what was about to take place. If I hadn’t done that I would not have been able to lead the service or enjoy the rest of the day.
So what about you, at the end of another busy year and as we head into another busy Christmas, what are you going to do? Are you going to try and work faster and harder? Or are you going to take time to stop and pray?
On Saturday 24th November, Otley Parish Church are hosting a day of
prayer which will be led by Bishop Helen-Ann (see page 7 for more details).
Come and pray, especially if you are too busy.