“Ezra is all about the rediscovery of Godly things.”
Thus spake my mate Tim when I was stressing about writing this month’s blog. Here I am in the middle of Lent and I’m stressed. For the last couple of months or so I’ve been stressed. I’ve been completing the final stages of a masters degree whilst all the while doing the full time vicaring. So yesterday, between a visit to someone who is sick and a funeral I raced to a stationer to do some binding and handed in the final fifteen thousand sleep deprived words. During the last week I’ve had less than three hours sleep most nights and there was one night I worked straight through.
So what is the net result of this madness?
- I can’t play the guitar as well as I could at Christmas. (I was 10bpm slower on my speed exercises yesterday. Boo!!)
- All my wife and I have done together for the last month is proof reading.
- The house is a mess.
- I’ve put on weight by eating takeaway food and crisps.
- I haven’t seen any of my friends.
- I’ve been grumpy.
- Shares in fair trade Kenyan coffee are up!
- I am three minutes from the deadline for this article to be published and I’ve clearly not uploaded it.
- Oh yeah, I’ve also written 15k words I’m proud of about a subject that fascinates me.
Tim asserted that “Ezra points the way to rediscovering Godly things” in the way that Lent is supposed to be doing for me currently. Lent is a time of refreshment and rededication to the task of being a disciple. Yet this can so easily be pushed out by the busyness we inflict upon ourselves in the modern world. Modern life is fixated on one thing – productivity and busyness. All of our communication is dedicated to it. You can see this in the way that people expect instant communication. There is a mobile office in your pocket that is always on delivering your email phone calls and texts 24/7. There is a pressure to be “always on” and “always working”. The mobile “phone” is always there enticing us to fill our days with more work and less play.
There is a curious new phenomenon: work based “Facebook messages”. What is that all about? When did Facebook become a means of messaging a colleague about a meeting? At what point in history did “work” march into Facebook and annex it in the name of productivity?
In the modern world there can be little opportunity to reflect upon the past or to pray and to listen to where God is leading us in the future. There is little time for ‘Sabbath’: the space to rediscover Godly things.
Lent is a gift. It is a time to rediscover those Godly things that have been driven out by the life we lead. So why don’t you leave the keyboard, tablet or phone alone for a minute and go and cancel a few things? Go spend some time with the family and friends you feel guilty for neglecting! Pray! See what happens when you do it? Why not read Ezra? Why not read Game of Thrones*? Why not watch Avengers Assemble**?
In the midst of this all: Rediscover Godly things.
*other novels are available.
**Other films are available.