At the beginning of this year I realized that I had several days of holiday entitlement that I had not taken and the leadership team of the church encouraged me to make sure I took these days off.
My teenage children are sitting important exams this Summer and this has made it difficult for us to go away as a family so far this year. With this in mind, I decided to just have the extra day off here and there (you can even read about what Tracey and I got up to on one of these days recently).
A few weeks ago, I paused to see how much of my previous years holiday entitlement that I had used up and I was surprised to realize that I still had quite a few days left.
Reflecting on this it occurred to me that I had time off I could take, that I wanted to take time off but that I had been too busy to take time off.
Strangely, I don’t feel the need to be busy, I’m just aware that there is a lot to do to.
I’ve been thinking about John chapter 4 recently.
It starts with Jesus who is exhausted stopping for a rest by a well. As he is taking it easy a woman comes along who he asks for a drink of water and a conversation later she goes to get the rest of her village with the end result being that many of them came to believe in Jesus.
In other words, on this occasion God was powerfully at work through Jesus only because he wasn’t busy!
I wonder how much we miss of what God wants us to do because we are too busy?
Often in my own work, the people who I spend time with are the one’s who ask. Perhaps they need to discuss a church activity (more busyness!) or they want to talk through a problem or to pray together. This happened to Jesus as well as people approached him for help or to ask him a question and then he engaged with them. Beyond this though, Jesus made time just to be with his disciples just to share life and to experience what serving God means.
As I write this, I am getting closer to starting this years holiday entitlement and I am also feeling a lot less busy and tired.
I’m still aware that there is a lot to do, but I am also aware that I can’t do all of it.
Jesus is still aware that there is a lot to do, but he can do all of it and he wants to include all of us in sharing in various parts of what he is doing.
Once we accept that we can’t do everything or meet every need, then we can give ourselves permission to listen to Jesus and follow what he has planned for us.
If you clicked on the link above to read about my recent day off you will hopefully have realized how much fun Tracey and I had but also the way God spoke to us as we slowed down together. It was a great and important day, it would be a shame if I was so busy that we could rarely do it again!
One of my favourite film quotes of all time is when aunt may says to Peter Parker (he’s Spiderman but don’t tell anyone),
‘You do too much – college, a job, all this time with me… You’re not Superman, you know’.
If a superhero can’t do everything then perhaps we need to accept that we can’t either!