Reflection for week 18th November 2018

"The Art of Just Being"

Mark 4 v.1: He got into a boat and sat in it

There came a time in my business life when my partners and I agreed to hire more staff so that we could have some time off. We expected to be less well-off but happier – but discovered that we organised things better by giving ourselves more time to plan. Planning takes time and thought but can improve performance and can help us achieve a better work/life balance.

Each of us finds our own path to relaxation. A thrilling novel or an informative documentary on television can divert us from the concerns of the day. Listening to music calms many a soul – just as for many others it stimulates activity! Many of us find that we relax better after a brisk walk or some other activity.

Somebody once said "Sometimes I sit and think – and sometimes I just sit". I fail to remember the context but the concept has remained in my mind. Just as we expect our bodies to be active so also we require our minds to be on the go until it is time to retire to blanket bay in the hope that we will sleep. Some eastern religions believe that time spent in meditation is profitable and many Christians have developed the practice of having a "Quiet Time" each day to read, to pray and to contemplate.

Whatever we call it there can be benefit in occasionally just sitting. The poet asked for "time to stand and stare". In the rush of busy lives a few moments of stillness can be "a breath of fresh air" to the soul. We need to assimilate that deep peace which only God can give when we pause and contemplate how in moments of "just being" our faith is ripened.

 Malcom Ray-Smith