From the Minister…

The problem with being busy

Keeping busy ? Of course you are. Everybody is. We’re good at that. I am very good at that. In fact, of all the things we have in common at Bothwell Parish Church, perhaps the most universal – and approved— is that we are all very busy people.

Usually, we are all busy doing important things. We all work a lot (in some cases, too much); we think we need to. Many of us are involved in a variety of worthy community projects; and our church itself is always on the lookout for anyone who finds they have a spare hour or two to help out. Very few, if any, of us devote our busyness to the frivolous, or the useless, let alone the downright wicked.

Truth is, in spite of all our moans and groans and complaints about how little time we have and how much there is to do: we can be a bit smug, if not a bit too full of our own pride, about the extent of our activities.

Don’t you think this is odd ?

After all, for far too many of us, the pace of our lives damages our health, pushes to the sidelines most of our attempts at spiritual growth, drains the enjoyment from much of what we do, weakens our families and actually presents less than an ideal model to our children.

We all know that. We are not stupid people. But, there is simply so much to do; and it’s often hard to say “No” and, the fact is, it just takes so much to live on these days.

However, there is a problem with the level of busyness I see in myself and detect in so many others. And it is this: even though we treat it as if it were, being busy is not a Christian value. The Church has always known that for us to grow in faith and in Christian lifestyle is not easy. It takes time. Often quiet and slow time.

Another thing to ponder is if we invest so much of our time, identity and energy into all these seemingly important things that keep us so busy, what will be left of us when these things are gone ?

I don’t have a nice and easy answer to this one. Not for you and not for me. But it simply makes sense to say that, just now and again, we do need to pause. For when we hear ourselves saying that we are too busy to care about what we care about the most andtodowhatweknowtobethe most important—then, we are too busy.

Nowhere is that more true than with our religious life and faith.

This edition of the Lantern will be available as the Church moves forward through its liturgical year into the season called Lent.

Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. In our culture, Ash Wednesday marks the first day. It lasts for the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert (Sundays are not included in the count). By traditon,

Lent is our opportunity to set time aside for some indepth reflection on the life and teaching of Jesus so that we might have some better under- standing of what lay behind the events of Holy Week—the last days in Jesus’ life— and of the epic happenings of that first Easter Day.

So, if you have not done it before, why not come along to our series of popular devotional services held during Holy Week ?

There is no easy way around this.

The things of Christian faith are no less demanding than anything else about which we might choose to learn. For ultimately, lived through Christian faith has to be relationship.

Keeping busy ? Of course, you are. Everybody is. We’re good at that.

But what, exactly, are your priorities ?

A thoughtful Lent and joyful Easter!

Jim Gibson
Minister of Bothwell


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