“I am so sorry to bother you Vicar, I know you are busy”
Is something that people say to me a lot.
Which is fair enough, because Vicars are busy, right? They usually have more than a few churches to run that involve meetings, fundraising, weddings, baptisms, funerals and of course .. Sunday services. But it really started to bother me that people don’t even contact me sometimes about major events in their lives because they just assume I am ‘busy’.
The truth is, the whole world seems to be busy.. they are often Juggling jobs, sometimes children, money concerns, health, unlimited things we can do with our leisure time. Just getting by, existing day to day can sometimes feel like a tiresome whirlwind of busyness that simply reboots when you wake up.
Perhaps you feel like that at the moment ?
Worse still, busyness seems to encourage more busyness. I think its now officially the done thing to be as busy as possible and it is sometimes worn like a badge of honour. If you look on social media, you will rarely find people that have done nothing. It’s all about how much they have achieved or have done that day. Don’t believe me? Just try telling people that you are not busy at all and have done absolutely nothing for days - and see what reaction you get.
But what I am asking myself is .. Whilst being busy all the time are we actually missing something really important?
It wont surprise you to hear that I read the bible a lot.. its a wonderful collection of stories, songs, wisdom and poetry written by real people who have had experiences of God. One of the common themes that these people express is that they often get too busy or distracted from God and when they do, they feel cut off and adrift.
For example, there is an ancient story about a man called Moses. God has to get his attention by appearing in a burning bush. He tells Moses ‘take of your sandals because you are standing on Holy ground’. Moses all of a sudden appreciated that the ground he had walked many times and took for granted, was in fact Holy.
The writers of the New Testament constantly report Jesus as saying the God is with us now. It doesn’t have to be earned by going to church. It’s not reliant on how much you pray. It’s not even something you deserve. Gods presence can be felt right where we are if we just stop and .. listen.
So what are we missing in the busyness of our lives? As we rush from one thing to the next, filling in, with screens in between.. Are we passing by our own burning bushes? What if the ground beneath you right now ... is actually sacred?