Tuesday, 29 November 2011


I am currently languishing in a medieval farmhouse somewhere in the boonies. In the month before the great feast of Christmas, with a beautiful wife and two ankle-biters at home, you may question the timing. I have too, because I have, like all God-botherers, a million things that I just have to do, now. Surely January is a better month or October.

I have said it before and I will say it again - I don't find the whole stopping thing easy. I trim sleep time to do the stuff of the waking hours. It may be that I am inefficient, but it is certainly the case that I enjoy productivity and getting the job done.

The last three months since taking on this job have presented myriad myriad new experiences, new responsibilities, new pressures, new joys, new annoyances, new challenges. Like that monster whose name now escapes me, the one which grows two heads when one is lopped off - each of these new things, when 'done', offers two more new things. Exponential growth is great, and I thank God for it, but it needs a particular approach.

Somewhere in the Byble, that book we Christian folk all have, it tells of a bloke called Jesus. It tells us that he withdrew from time to time, to create a distance. I reason that if it worked for him it might just work for me. I wonder if Jesus found withdrawing easy, or rather that he just wanted to graft on into the wee small hours. But withdraw he did, often when things picked up and got busy.

So here I am, in the boonies. I have a lot of things I could be doing at home, people to meet, jobs to do. The thing is, though, that I am flagging. I have had such a wonderful few weeks but I am starting to pay the price a bit. I am tired to my bones, and that is before Crimbo really sets off properly. If I fall over through the failure to withdraw, the job will surely suffer. Worse still, my failure would be at the expense of my wife and kids.

I am here to do some work with my fellow priests from the part of London where I minister. We will study, pray and eat together. I will get a little more sleep, but most importantly of all - I am forced to stop. Kicking and screaming.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Cirencester,United Kingdom


  1. Sounds well deserved, refreshing and restful. It might be work, but spiritual sustenance is so necessary and important. Will pray for you and the others, and for your family & parish.

  2. Even you David, with your abundant energy and natural buoyancy, need occasionally to re-charge your batteries (physical and spiritual).
    Those of us who know you fairly well are used to watching your 'candle-burning at both ends' activities with a mixture of admiration and trepidation, knowing that at some stage fatigue will set in.
    You do not enjoy being 'still', yet it is this, more almost than any other behaviour which allows not only you, but those to whom you minister to experience the presence of God.
    Despite your disinclination you must learn to practise some sort of inner tranquility even if only to avoid burnout.

  3. But you tell us only half the story - where are you, why, what are you doing (apart from nothing)? Are you on as retreat, a pilgrimage, a bonding exercise, a stress management course, a focus group? Are you in a hotel, a retreat house, a monastery, an out-of-season holiday camp on Hayling Island (been there, done that!)? Turkey, tinsel & Benediction? Bread, water & soul-cleansing? We must be told!

  4. A good idea, David and I hope you come back refreshed. Don't be surprised if you feel like sleeping most of the time. I always did when I went away on retreat or to clergy school.

  5. I would say that the more disinclined you are to do this the more important it be that you do! Best thing for you, for your family, and for all those you serve. As we say, Peace be with you ...



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