In a meeting today I became aware of the importance of simplicity. These are difficult times and many of us are expected, or expecting of ourselves, to be operating at full capacity; that ‘self-actualisation’ as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need terms it. A colleague reminded me though, that we are seeking to survive a pandemic, and actually, rather than even trying to meet our self-fulfilment needs, we should really only be focusing on our basic needs: food, water, warmth, rest, security and safety. Many of the people I have spoken to, and I myself, have been struggling with ‘rest’ out of all of these. A phrase often repeated to me through theological college keeps coming back; “be kind to yourself.” It doesn’t always feel possible, especially with multiple competing pressures, and yet it feels important to try….
Space to breathe and rest is so important, yet it feels so difficult to find in these times…weekends or rest days have taken a very different shape!
“Give me a candle of the Spirit, O God, as I go down into the deeps of my being. Show me the hidden things, the creatures of my dreams, the storehouse of forgotten memories and hurts. Take me down to the spring of my life, and tell me my nature and my name. Give me freedom to grow; so that I may become that self, the seed of which you planted in me at my making. Out of the deep I cry to you, O God. Amen.“George Appleton (1902-93), adapted by Jim Cotter (b. 1942)
After a week of ‘lock-down’ my way of life as ministering from home is becoming the new ‘normal’. No doubt for many of us, the novelty (if there was one) has well and truly worn off as the tensions of more than one adult needing a space to work, home education causes stress, the internet slows because we all need it, we are becoming increasingly worried about money and security as for some ‘working’ will soon cease to be an option, as job roles become redundant under these conditions…I could go on.
In conversation with a colleague this afternoon though I was pointed in the direction of the George Appleton prayer, quoted above. We had been talking about where we find our energy, and what the current circumstances reveal to us about ourselves. I invite you in the cool of this evening to spend time with these words, and ask that God “tell me my nature and my name”…. Ponder your responses to this new ‘normal’, your emotional responses. Notice where you are getting your energy. Notice where you are being drained. Hold them before God and ask that God would show you how to use your God given nature for the glory of God and God’s Kingdom…. Amen.
#606 #restday Seeking to find the #beautiful in the #everyday.