In my time zone it’s pretty late. Today has been full on. There was that training seminar this morning; a crowd are gathered together to be taught and improved. The afternoon was full of making things happen. Lots of emails, tweets and conversations all trying to push certain plans from ideal in reality and cajole others into joining me. Around all that was the usual blur of busyness and distraction. The commute home, the voices and sounds on the radio, the lure of my devices and the interaction with those who live with me. It’s not that the day has been particularly difficult, it’s just, well, been.
And so I sit down, and face choices: television, alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, social media, or entertainment? Perhaps a bit more productivity instead. Keep going a little longer and try to get ahead.
Then there is that quiet nudge: “How about you just return to the source?”
We’re in Lent, the time of spirituality project management. We’re coming to the end of the season and it may be that the ideal of developing a disciplined spiritual life has not quite survived the reality of the last few weeks. There is a strong temptation to give up on the idea of trying to improve myself. Perhaps I should listen to that, perhaps I’m wrong to want to be better.
There is that nudge again: “Why don’t you return to the source?”
Don’t get me started on the anxiety. The pressure of making the right choice, the growing worry about existential threats miles away and the uncertainty about what I am going to do next and whether what I’ve done now is enough. In my head, the world doesn’t feel as safe as it did when I was a kid, and though I try to control that thought, it pops up from time to time, in odd ways and odd places.
There it is again: “Isn’t it time to return to the source?”
This faith that I and, if you’ll forgive the assumption, you are carrying points to a source. It all revolves around, points to, stands or falls on the presence of Jesus. He is the foundation and the reason and the proof and the source.
Jesus, so Mark’s gospel says, arrives on the scene with a declaration: “The time has come, the kingdom of God is near, repent and believe the good news.” Listen to that in a different way: The moment you’ve been waiting for is here. The place where God makes everything right, it’s really close. Stop what you are doing, and pay attention. Pay attention to Jesus. It’s not that everything else isn’t good, it’s just that it doesn’t sustain like the source.
In my time zone it’s time to return to Jesus. Right now that means stopping what I’m doing and taking a moment or two to pray. Like you I’m not an expert – assumptions again, thanks for the forgiveness – but I’m going to have a go. I’ll say a few words, have a bit of silence, maybe listen to some music and see if I can get back to the source.
Where are you right now? This could be the first thing you are reading today and your morning is just getting going. It might be a snatched few minutes at lunch or some other break in the day. It might be at the end, and you have a few hours of failures and successes behind you. Whatever time-zone you are in, it may well be time to return to the source.