A Tip for the Busy

Today will be very busy, so instead of lying in bed till the last possible moment, I got up early then, instead of reducing prayer and reading to an absolute minimum, spent more time on both. It is something on which Luther and I agree. The busier we are, the more necessary prayer and lectio divina are — and by prayer, I don’t mean telling the Almighty what to do or asking him to endorse our ideas or bless our plans but simply handing everything over to him and waiting on his word. Reading is an essential part of this process, otherwise we end up cocooned in a little world of our own making and that is A Very Bad Idea indeed. We end up spinning round and round, like a a caged animal on an exercise wheel.

By this stage of Lent, it is easy to convince ourselves that we have a lot of important things to do, and it is all for the glory of God. It is therefore tempting to postpone or even omit the apparently fruitless exercise of prayer. (In the monastery, it is often lectio divina that gets sacrificed, probably becauser that requires obvious effort rather than the less obvious effort required by prayer.) Doing so will only make things worse. We will lose touch with the ground of our being. So, if you find yourself getting busier and busier, do, please, try to stop a moment and turn to the Lord. It is the only way of allowing Lent to do its work in us, the only sure way of reaching the blessed feast of Easter.

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11 thoughts on “A Tip for the Busy”

  1. Busy seems to be the trap we all fall in to. There are so many tasks that I use it as an excuse not to do essential things. I have found, this Lent, that the only way to stop myself being bogged down by busyness (not business…) is to set my alarm clock earlier and (rather bleary-eyed) pray followed by Lectio – thanks again for the Lenten Book suggestion – then get ready for the rest of the day’s tasks. All too easy to make excuses later in the day – too tired/busy and I know any reading done then will be less focussed. Hard to do; but on the couple of days I failed – I did feel lost later – exactly like a mouse on a wheel. Time suddenly belongs to work, not to me and certainly not to God…

  2. But since we are yet human, when we leave our book and prayers there is still that famous English commander’s prayer before battle:
    “Oh Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day.
    If I forget Thee, do not Thou forget me.”
    Into thy hands, Lord!

  3. Such meaningful teaching, and encouragement to “do the right thing” (more prayer and lectio divina, not less during busy times). Thank you.

  4. Your capitalisation of the phrase ” A Very Bad Idea…” briefly transported me to 100 Acre Wood with Pooh and friends, not a bad place in which to cognitive on your words.

  5. Hmmm…indeed! And I know that God will want me to give my all to the Easter craft workshop for the children at church….but if I give more time to prayer about it beforehand I’m sure I will survive the glue and glitter in a more blessed state of mind! Thank you for a timely reminder…x

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