Perhaps I should explain the new ‘I’m not busy’ badge in the top right hand corner of this blog. I read a little book by Stephen Cherry yesterday, which is part of a Lent campaign (see http://www.notbusy.co.uk/) and a fascinating one at that. Lent is a time when Christians remember the time Jesus spent fasting in the desert. For many it is a time of giving things up. Traditionally, people would have given up certain foods, especially meat, during Lent, but these days it could be other things, such as social networking, to name only one example.
Cherry encourages us to give up busyness. Yes, that’s right, busyness!
His book, which is an ebook and a very quick read (apparently it’s the equivalent of no more than 41 printed pages), includes a number of helpful suggestions as well as a proper definition of the kind of busyness that Cherry thinks is unhelpful and even dangerous. One of his ideas is that we take 10–30 minutes each day doing absolutely nothing but living in the present and noticing the things around us. What a brilliant and truly counter-cultural suggestion!
Readers will have to turn to the book for more ideas and for Cherry’s thoughts on busyness and what he calls ‘time wisdom’, but here are some quotes on time and spirituality, the part of his book I most enjoyed, to whet your appetite:
… since time is a fundamental dimension and aspect of creation, spirituality connects us more realistically with time.
Busyness, in its new and chronic guise, is toxic to spirituality and to wellbeing precisely because it eliminates the possibility of the spiritual appreciation of the passing moment …
To give up busyness … is to seek to walk through the door of the present moment into the world of spiritual delights and challenges.