Pause for Thought September 2018

With September comes the end of the Summer holidays, though for those who are retired the holiday is often yet to come. But everything seems to start afresh in September. I can remember even now the excitement of returning to school, to a new classroom and new teachers, but especially the joy of opening a new exercise book and writing so carefully on the first page (though the carefulness didn’t often last beyond the second page!). But in adult life as well every group, every committee seems to need a meeting in September. September is essentially a time of busyness in marked contrast to the relaxed atmosphere of August. 

Being busy can be both a blessing and a curse. It can be a blessing because when we are busy we are aware that we are contributing to the running of society on a larger or smaller scale. There are many people in our churches who will be gearing up for a busy few months, and that busyness makes us feel good because we know we are not wasting the God-given gift of life and that we are contributing to the life of the church.

But there can be a downside to busyness as we become so obsessed with being busy and with doing things that we lose sight of the need to stop and think about what we are doing. We cease to give ourselves time to ‘take stock’ and think about what we are doing or to find space to listen to God’s prompting in our lives. 

Recently I have been exploring ‘ Mindfulness’ in the Christian context. Mindfulness is a way of being in the present and being still. I am not good at it! My mind wanders, but the good thing about the practice is that you are encouraged not to be judgemental about yourself, just to try again. It is similar in many ways to contemplative prayer, but whatever you believe, it is proven medically to help those who are depressed or suffering mental health issues. More of this later, but for the present why not set aside a time in each day just to be still and maybe read a poem or a Bible passage.  

Our churches in Barnack, Bainton and Ufford are always open in the daytime and these are places where you can find the space to be still. Try it, don’t let September run away with you.

Margaret Venables    Telephone: 01780 749127