Weekly Update – 4th June

I really struggle to ‘get going’ when writing for these pieces for the newsletter, I’ve got all month to think about it and then sit down roughly half an hour after I’ve promised to send it to Katie to actually write it, hands up fellow procrastinators!!

This month I thought I’d write about time; how our lives are run by the clock, how it runs away with us, how we waste so much of it, how we can’t get it back. I was going to refer to Ecclesiastes 3 (you know the words…’There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot…’), and Esther 4:14 ‘…you were made queen for just such a time as this’. In all my ponderings over the month, I almost had it written (in my head!) and then this morning I went to Morning Prayer, and it all fell out.

I don’t think I’m very good at prayer. For someone who has much to say on almost everything, I find formulating my thoughts into coherent sentences (or even just an order) quite hard. And then there’s finding the time to ‘do’ it.

Morning Prayer takes away all that worry. I don’t have to think of my own words, I don’t have to put them in any order, I just need to read them. When I first went to Morning Prayer I was completely lost, we went from the prayer book to the Bible and back again, we took it in turns to read with no obvious indication of who’s turn it was, and I left feeling anxious and that somehow I’d got it wrong. But of course you can’t get prayer wrong. What I should have done (oh how I love hindsight), is just come along and sat, listened and followed; by being there, in the moment, was prayer enough.

And that’s where my thoughts on time collided with prayer this morning.

We rush from place to place, there is so much call on our time; families, friends, school, work, house upkeep, the garden, television, computer games, doom scrolling on social media – there’s always something that detracts or distracts.

Are we ever truly there, in any of those moments?

And if you’re not physically running from one task to another, our heads are busy doing it too. I’m often greeted by blank looks at home when during a conversation about one thing I interject with a thought or question about something else which to them has no relevance, but in my head I’ve thought of three or four further scenarios, written two lists and had a whole conversation about a linking topic.

Canon Liz spoke the other week about leaving space in your thoughts for God, NOT praying, but being still and in the moment so that you would be able to hear Him.

The most generous gift we can give is our time. We need to stop, be in the moment, really listen when someone is talking, and remember that God’s time doesn’t conform to our clock.

Isn’t it easy to say! I think I’ve got some self-improvement work to be doing!

So I’m going to start with a couple of minutes each day, for God and me. As I struggle to stop the constant thought whirring in my head, I will rely on the words in Morning Prayer. Perhaps some days I will be able to read to the end, but on those that I don’t, the opening prayer is all that is needed

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.
As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence,
O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and forever.