Deadlines

It’s that time of year when many people have deadlines looming. Exams… dissertations… projects…

"I added a plot twist."

“I added a plot twist.”

I thought I had left such deadlines behind me long ago when I left full-time education (far more years than I really care to remember, although I do have a significant school reunion coming up this summer!) But in reality there are always deadlines that we live towards – perhaps it’s the deadline of signing a contract on a house, or the date a child is due to be born (Don’t get me started on that, suffice to say that my two daughters have still to learn the importance of turning up on time…!). I have constant deadlines as I undertake painting work for people in their homes and they don’t really want a ladder on the stairs for longer than absolutely necessary. Maybe we have other cut-off limits that concern something less crucial, like returning a library book or paying a bill.

I sometimes feel like I live to deadlines – completing this Blog for FRC was one that was pushed to the wire – and I am someone who always tries to cram one more thing in to the available minutes of the day, fitting my work around my husband and children… and shopping… and keeping the house vaguely tidy… and seeing friends… and sending that email… and doing things at church… and playing netball… and leading a session at Cubs… and…and…and…

 

But sometimes I just need to stop.Junge Frau schaut aus dem Fenster, trinkt Tee und legt Füße zum Aufwärmen auf die Heizung.

To take a breath and look up from the furrow I am ploughing.

I need to slow down and listen – to the birds, to the music, to the still small voice of God.

I need to look around at the colours in the sky, the signs of the changing seasons, the things going on around me.

I need to stop thinking ahead, but to enjoy the moment.

I need to hear what God is speaking over me, both for today and for the days ahead.

And my plan is to get right on and take that time to stop… just as soon as I can fit it into my diary!

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told Elijah. And as he stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  1 kings 19:11-13

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