As has been obvious from the absence of posts over the last few weeks, the summer holidays are upon us and my weekly writing slot has been hijacked. Room re-arranging, packing, lifts to camp and enjoying the Keswick Convention have left me little time for routines and regulars.
While I am hoping to get some delicious writing time over the next few weeks I am also trying to challenge my default mindset that proudly whips out a ridiculously long and over ambitious list of things to get done over the holidays before I’ve even folded up the final piece of school uniform.
“Look at all these restful, productive, satisfying things I’ve got planned for you to accomplish!” the mindset says; beaming. It’s like a dog looking for praise having retrieved something that you would rather had remained buried. “You could complete and publish all your draft blog posts, collate all the scraps of paper with scribbles ideas on them, write a talk series, develop a resource to help families get talking about certain things, actually do those two other projects that have been gathering dust – literally and metaphorically – over the last 6 months and read 5 books….. – oh and by the way – aren’t I clever to have got all that ready for you?”
“Clever? Possibly. But helpful? Not so much – sorry!” I say, trying to break the news gently. “Could you maybe take the list away and go and dig up some stillness for me instead?”
Stillness – well that’s a whole other blog post – and one that I look forward to writing. It is a concept that I naturally react strongly against. An antipathy due partly to a legitimate suspicion aroused by poor handling and application of verses like Psalm 46:10, but also, as I am very slowly, but helpfully learning, because I’m just really bad at it!
But more of that another time. Now is a season in which to actually have a go at more being than doing.
For now I’m going to pretend that I don’t dislike like that phrase as much as I do the idea of being still!
So while I am feeling excited about the possibility of sitting in a French cafe blogging, I also feel excited by the awareness that it is just that – a possibility. A particularly toothsome one – yes – but a possibility none-the-less without a pressure or a list in sight. Until, that is, my default mindset comes panting up with one in its mouth!
Routines and regulars will return in September; as will a roughly weekly blog post from me. But for the next few weeks – well I’ll just see where they take me and what it is like to be there.
Dear Father, help me to explore stillness and quietude in a godly, discerning way that is also brave and persevering in the face of a highly trained habit of busy. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.