Sometimes it seems like progress is incredibly slow, and you are not moving forward. The other day I watched some children in their class learning how to tread water. My daughter asked what they were doing, and I explained it’s quite hard to swim without moving and they are learning how to do that. The effort and energy it takes to stand still always seems to me to be more than moving forward, whether it’s a good idea or not! In life this hasn’t always served me well as I am prone to make rash decisions, move jobs, or move house becuase of an intuition or gut feeling. The time the church has taken to decide to annoint the first woman bishop today Libby Lane, to me seemed a lifetime. For others I am sure it didn’t seem long enough. There is a montage on the bbc here of the ceremony which took place today in York. It was really moving to see, and my parents were delighted to be there in the congregation, saying “yes” when the Archbishop asked “do you support this?” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30974547
Sometimes though it’s good to stop and wait, to listen out for God’s word amongst the chatter, to actively listen without moving forward and to just stop for a while. At christmas this year, mainly because of ill-health we had to do that. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. Asking for help sometimes means saying, I can’t move forward without you, what do I do now? Then listening to the answer!
This January I have been doing the dryathon, I’ve felt more alert, slept better, but haven’t sadly shed a stone in weight as I’d hoped! The instant results we all crave, are often a bit of a myth. The boring truth is that to lose a stone I would have to change my eating habits as well as my drinking ones. With our prayer life with God it’s similar. The daily ritual of prayer, reading the bible and reflection hasn’t always come easy to me. I would really struggle with being a Buddhist or regular meditation, but just even a few minutes each day to close your eyes and rest the brain can’t be a bad thing. It’s through this quiet time I think we often hear God’s voice. Not always though! God’s timing is often not the same as our human hearts expect. There is a joke, that a man meets God and asks for help. God explains that one human lifetime is like a second to him and a million pounds just a penny. The man then says “can I have one of your pennys?”. God replies… “just a second…”
Since the church began this has been the same.. But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day! (Habakkuk 2:3 TLB).
So today I am celebrating God’s timing, as I was in York when the big day happened, and happened to be with other people of faith, just having a coffee round the corner when history changed.