Last year, Easter fell at the end of March, and I was ready. From the middle of January, all I could think about was that Easter was early and I needed to be ready. When Easter arrived, I was positioned and ready for it!
This year, Easter is almost a month later, so I wasn’t worried at all. I knew that I had plenty of time and didn’t have to worry. Without warning, April arrived and then Easter was suddenly upon us. I’m not sure what happened, but I have been going crazy dealing with what have quickly become last minute details. I’ve even considering petitioning the Christian community as a whole to see if, by chance, we can put Easter off until May this year! But I already know the answer to that request, so it is best just to keep moving along.
While we have been working feverishly to make sure we have all our plans in place, our church family has been going through a study about listening. The study is based on Bishop Reuben Job’s study, Listen: Praying in a Noisy World, and it is all about finding ways to pray even when things get frantic. I have discovered in the recent days that it is much easier said than done.
I can always rationalize about “busyness” that is not MY busyness. I can talk to people about trying to take time in their busy days, but suddenly I hear myself speaking and wonder about my own “busyness.” My busy life is essential, I rationalize to myself. It is about planning Easter and making sure that the needs of the church are met. Then without noticing, I suddenly realize that my own spiritual life is suffering. I have stopped listening to God because I am too busy working for God.
Therein, lies the rub … my effectiveness in working for God is lessened when I am having trouble listening to God.
So as I write this reflection, I am again reminded how important it is to take the time necessary to pause and wait for God. Even when I am behind in crafting a plan for Easter, there is still time. Even when my mind is racing about the many things on my calendar, there is still time. Even when I struggle to come up for air from the many meetings and conversations that need to happen before Easter arrives, there is still time.
What I have discovered and proclaim again and again is something I have to hear again and again: GOD ALONE HAS GIVEN ME THE GIFT OF TIME, AND ALL MY TIME BELONGS TO GOD!
So I am still … I am waiting to hear a word from God. Time is moving quickly, but there is always time to listen for God.