A week of preparation. Preparation for the retreat I’m leading next week. Preparation for a new commission – thinking time before I work. Preparation for a friend’s advent calendar – 23 crocheted snowflakes and 1 crocheted angel. My mind wondering and wandering while my hands are kept occupied. In all this I’ve realised how little time I used to spend in preparation for the every day things of life.
I used to rush around from pillar to post, dealing with issues as they occurred. Most of my preparations for work were done in my car, as I drove from one thing to the other. Morning and evening prayer happened daily. My Bible reading still took place. Focused always on the next thing, on what needed to be done, the immediacies of life. And for a short while there is nothing wrong with that. There will always be things that need to be dealt with ‘now’. Yet, reflecting, most of it was not actually that urgent. It was driven by my sense of wanting to achieve, wanting to please others, fulfill requirements, tick boxes.
A question I received on my blog a couple of days ago was ‘I read that you are taking a year to reconnect with God. Great goal! How is that going and what are you doing to accomplish your goal?’. I started to worry about the question. How am I going to achieve this goal? How can I assess my progress? How do I prove it? But then came – who am I trying to prove it to? Myself? My bishop? My friends? God? God knows that I am striving to walk more closely with him, to listen to his heartbeat, to the sound of his song. The way I am doing that is to step back from my everyday, to walk at a slower pace. Take time to prepare, to think, to be. Do things that are not immediate, that are not a knee jerk response to life. Not to tick boxes, but to live life in all its fulness.
So this week I have crocheted 23 snowflakes and an angel. I’ve slowly prepared for the retreat. I’ve planned the next commission. I’ve walked on the beach, paddled in the sea, peered in rockpools, danced on the sand. Watched a rainbow, and listened to the rain. Splashed through mud, and chased miniature streams. I have listened to the heartbeat of God, as I wonder and wander, and relaxed once again in his presence.
14/11/12 NB: for those who are interested, here is the link to the angel pattern. Enjoy! http://www.jpfun.com/patterns/free/angels/f104005minitreetopangel.shtml