So you may not have been thinking that all the time in the last two weeks… or even noticed that no emails or posts have appeared in your reader or timeline… but I’ve noticed it. I’ve noticed that for the last while my days have been fuller and my time has been stretched taut across the events and responsibilities in my life.
Thinking about why that’s happened hasn’t really helped too much- in fact it just makes me feel bad about my inefficiency and inability to prioritise, as well as the truth that I’m not great at turning things down. I don’t excel at proactively caring for people- or certainly not in obvious external ways (I don’t tend to just pop in to see folks or ring for a catch up, nor am I a natural at buying spontaneous gifts), but people are often in my thoughts and prayers- every time I go along the roads near to my home I’m conscious of who lives there and how they’re doing, and pray for God’s blessing on them. But this last week or so there’s been a bunch of people that I’ve needed to care for- a colleague’s son died, a friend diagnosed with cancer, another had a stroke, a broken neck, a miscarriage… and that’s aside from the couple who want to get married but can’t afford it, the parents who’re wanting to find out why the church talks about this Jesus so much, the funeral to plan etc… and that’s just the ones i could think of as I wrote this paragraph.
The thing is, that stuff isn’t subject to diary planning- except that it is in the sense that it’s always there, and I need to constantly expect and prepare myself for it- keeping head space and diary space for people who don’t know they need support until the moment its essential.
But what’s really thrown my month has been some extras- not a lot of them, but a few- a weekend conference that I was running, a Saturday meeting I attended and wrote up, a study day, and the fact that alongside them all the normal parts of my life have still needed just the same level of energy and attention as usual. My socks haven’t decided to pair themselves up and climb into the drawer, my desk has yet to understand its part of the deal and so remains a tribute to cluttered paper and so on.
And so, some things have slid slightly down the pecking order. Its not that I don’t enjoy blogging, or receiving comments (I do, worryingly so), its not that I don’t think the practice of creative thinking and writing has any beneficial side-effects for me (I do), it’s simply that my blog doesn’t pester me, tell me I’m letting it down or do anything to force itself into my perception. And in that way, there is a connection with how one can fall out of the habits of prayer and Bible reading. Doing them requires effort and desire, and the rewards are amazing, but missing them can simply leave one feeling… slightly down at the edges for a while, and with more time to do the unending stuff. Its only when you look back and realise where you’ve come from and can look with some objectivity that you can see the difference. And in that way, a blog is rather different from a relationship with God… and as I’ve had to choose between the two this past while, I hope you’ll forgive me for the decision I made.
The good news, I guess, is that I’ve I’d gone the other way, God would have forgiven me too.