Being unsettled and feeling restricted is a new feeling that many of us are now beginning to cope with as we move forward into the first full week of tighter restrictions and almost all children being away from school.  It is a time for adjusting to ‘new normal’ for a while and really taking a look at the patterns of our lives… do we do things just because we always have?  Do we need to review our rhythms and patterns?  Has dross and waste slipped into to the way we live without us even realising it?

These are good questions to consider as we begin to think about the weeks ahead, but not just in physical or practical terms.  We can and should think about this in terms of our spiritual journey too.  The nature of the change we face as churches and communities will make us look hard at what we are doing, how we are doing it and why we are doing it… and as I discovered today that can be very unsettling for some, leading to heightened feelings of anxiety and loss of control.

I’m not sure if you have been into any of the big supermarkets lately, but I went into the local Sainsbury’s and the level of empty shelves was a bit of a shock… even after there have been reminders to think about the less fortunate and well off.  As I queued to pay for the few items I had gone in for I saw a man walk out with 6 large boxes of cereal, and I must confess that I became a little cross. 

Time, especially in our modern ‘on the go, always connected, always available lives,’ is very often a pressured and precious commodity… there always seems to be not enough of it, we seemed to be continually on the treadmill of life rushing from one place to the next. At work, at home, at play, we can often be thinking of what’s next, who’s next, how do I get to the ‘next’.

Families of all types and make ups looking after loved ones, their children, their parents, their grandparents. People working long hours, arriving home late, people packing in time to exercise, taking part in hobbies, going out to eat. For some life is just so busy because they are working out how to survive. What is common, what unites so many people, is this constant chasing after time…