Paul writes – I recently had reason to reflect on “busyness” and the barriers that “busyness” puts up around accessibility and the kind of relaxed-full, relational, slow, listening presence that needs to be an important part of relationship and communal depth-building. Busyness also undermines the kind of quiet-space we need to discern the inner and outer movements of God; it undermines our ability to notice, and to reflect theologically on the substance of our ordinary and everyday activities and practices – reflection that is critical to our being able to “find God in all things”; to our ability to make meaning.
That said; there is a valid time for busyness – for fast. But, needfully in a culture predicated on “fast”, there needs to be room for slowness, to do things slowly – see Simon Holt’s post, Tyrannies and Addictions. Also, In Praise of Slow and Further Thoughts on ‘Slow’.
I’m the father of three young children – it’s busy – there’s no other way it can be. I’m not a lazy, slothful person. However, I need to counter-balance that with the kind of space and slowness I need for my own self-care & nourishment, and the needs of others. Simon offers (his essay, below) some ideas I’m keen to try. I’m also on the look out for other “practices” that subvert the tendency toward being busy simply for the sake of being busy.
Other resources that help us reflect on busyness and time.
The Tyranny of Time by one of a significant influence on my theological formation, Robert Banks. His monumental The Complete Book of Everyday Christianity (he shared the editorial role with Regent College’s R. Paul Stevens) is another tremendously useful resource for not only this subject, but also the broader subject of making links between our Christian faith and the everyday realities of our lives. There is much in it that will spark our own imaginations, creativity, reflections, theologising, meaning-making and noticing in the midst of life. My only regret in recommending this book? I can’t get my hands on my own copy, as it’s in one of numerous boxes that house 80% of my library, while we’re in-between houses.
· Carl Honore, In Praise of Slow – "Try reading this book one chapter a day -- it is worth allowing its subversive message to sink slowly in so it has a chance of changing your life." -- Bill McKibben.
· The Tyranny of the Moment: Fast and Slow Time in the Information Age by Thomas Ericksen.
· Again. Of more general interest (than the question of slowness & busyness), see also the CD series, “Down to Earth Spirituality” by R. Paul Stevens and Gordon Fee – “Spirituality has historically been associated with monastic movements, retreat centres and people not engaged deeply with the normal pressures of life in secular society. This conference will address the biblical emphasis of everyday, vocational holiness, providing both a theological foundation for the ministry of the ordinary Christian and a spiritual motivation. Developing a Christian lifestyle involves much more than being faithful in devotional and church activities. We will consider our mentalities, pressures, environments and Christian patterns of response.”
· Children’s book, Jesus’ Day Off by Nicholas Allen
· Any other resources YOU would recommend?