I’m sat here in my office, writing emails, responding to them, taking phone calls, making appointments to see people, quickly rushing down a sip of lukewarm coffee (as its been sat on the desk staring at me for far too long), back to phone calls, adding to my to do list for tomorrow, ticking off the task I’ve just completed……And STOP!

I look up from the flickering laptop screen in front of me, with the mini screen of my phone flashing on the desk as yet another call comes in, I find it so easy to get engrossed in the busyness of work life, and the constant task lists, in fact many a time as a Project Manager I would become so consumed by my work that I would miss the bell signalling end of the day, and it wouldn’t be until Marie phoned me to ‘gently’ remind me I had a home, that I would pry myself away from the office, (I’m so grateful for the time God gave me in industry He used it to teach me and refine me in so many ways).

With Family, Church, Youth for Christ, life is pretty full on at the moment, don’t get me wrong I am enjoying life, I’m blessed to have the family I do and I thank God for Marie and the Girls every day, I love that I get to work at the Church, I see it as a real privilege that God has called me into Leadership, and am so grateful of the role God has given me at Youth for Christ, I’m not moaning about how busy life is, I’m just aware of it.

However, while peering out of the window at the blue Sky, (I’m always taken aback by the intensity and simple beauty of a clear blue sky, God really is a master artist!), I’m just reminded and conscious of our need to sometimes just STOP. Today’s world drives us to be busy, we have our phones which are constantly on, we are always connected to social media, the internet, we have access to the news at our fingertips, within a few seconds we can be connected to the most up to date report of the situation regarding Brexit or the US presidential race, or to what Aunty Mavis has just posted about her opinion of last night’s episode of ‘Bake Off’. We are bombarded by screens showing statistics of Covid-19, the latest local lockdowns and a host of opinions about things from people we may never have even heard of. I think it’s fair to say we are living in a time where we are more connected than ever before…At the same time because of the world’s current pandemic, many would say they are the least connected they have been, they feel isolated…Both statements I think are right! But that’s not the point of this blog today, my point is regardless of who we are, or what we are a part of, we all need to at times just STOP, to turn the screens off, to disconnect from the constant noise of this world and the overload of information.

For many it’s a struggle to do that, there is just so much that NEEDS doing, this is my job, I’m called to THIS, you think this house will run itself, if I don’t do it, it won’t get done…I’m sure you can relate to some of those statements, I can be like that sometimes (much to the disappointment of Marie it’s never around housework for me though ), and its then I need to remind myself, that the one I get my peace from, the one I follow and desire to be like, the perfect example of how to live, Jesus, took time out, away from the crowds, away from the situations, away from the busyness, Jesus knew that He needed to take time and STOP, to just ‘…Be still and know…’ (Psalm 46), many a time we see Jesus moving away from the busyness of the work He was sent to do, to the mountains, hills or quiet places in order to just be with God, to replenish His strength, to rest in God, (Luke 5:16, Matthew 14:23, Mark 1:35), Jesus knew it was a good thing to just STOP and rest, if we jump back to the Old Testament even right back to the beginning, God worked six days and on the 7th He rested (Genesis 2:2-3), God created a day of rest the Sabbath, not because He needed to, but because He was creating a healthy pattern an example for us, even the land was to be given a rest, don’t believe me take a look at Leviticus 25:4-5, God the designer and creator of all things knows what we need…To STOP and find rest in Him.

With everything that is going on right now, in our lives, at our places of work, in our families, around us, the local lockdown in our community here in Sandwell, the solution to us being overwhelmed, burned out, overstretched, overworked even filled with anxiety about all sorts of things, is to STOP and spend time with God, to find the peace He promises in His presence, to find the rest that He gives those who come to him, to know the perfect love that casts out ALL fear…

As the old advert used to say, Take a break, have a……

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