Its been a couple of weeks since I last wrote a blog. November 30th, or so wordpress tells me, was the last time I shared my thoughts. Since then I have been to a concert by the fab prog-rock band, Marillion. I have led worship at my church. I have done some much needed tidying in my garden in between both the heavy frosts and heavy showers. I have completed my Christmas gift shopping and have almost got all the Christmas food shopping. I have been to see a pantomime. I took part in a lantern making workshop. And this is only half of it…..
My December, however you look at it, has been busy. In between all these unusual things are the regular day-to-day caring tasks I do, housework, Open University work, caring for my own mental health, attending appointments and so on. Even when extra tasks or events crop up, the ‘normal’ world continues.
I have written and preached on advent being a time to wait, a pause, a moment of quiet, a necessary space before the celebration of Christmas. But sometimes this month has felt like anything other than a wait. Busy-ness finds us everywhere we turn. My days are full of the regular stuff, like they always have been, and the extra things, the Christmas preparations, are shoe-horned around the sides. Its no wonder I have been a bit lax with my university work recently – I just haven’t been able to concentrate on it.
I think its right to meet commitments, its right to take part in pre-Christmas activities and there is nothing wrong with diving head first into festivities. But we need to take time to breathe too. We need to take the pauses just as importantly as the activities. Advent is a time of waiting and watching, a time to pause. That’s one of the things I mentioned in my church service and something I believe is very valuable. So there should be a pause now and again, a stopping point, a moment just to ‘be’.
Pauses are just as important as activities. ‘Being’ is just as important as doing. Life is for living, yes, but we all need moments where we can just allow ourselves to ‘be’ occasionally. And this includes me, if for no other reason than enabling myself to practise what I preach!