As I write this, we are beginning to get to grips with a new year, and the chances are that for many of us this means a return to a whirlwind of activity and busyness. Indeed, this is such a common experience that stress, caused by an almost unrelenting pace of life is regarded as almost a normal condition. We are often urged to tackle this problem by one technique or another.
A hobby or regular activity can help, and many different ones are available. But sometimes the commitment involved can add to the sense of busyness. It seems as if in this, for many at least, age of plenty, the one thing not easily found is rest and quiet.
Many people feel keenly the loss of Sabbath observance, not only from the perspective of worship, but also precisely because of the loss of a day to rest and be quiet or at least relatively so. Realistically it is difficult to imagine a return to Sunday as a day of rest in the way it was, many would argue such a move would not be a wholly good thing. Whatever your view, it seems almost certain that society is not about to change.
Stephen Cottrell, the new Archbishop of York wrote a book called ‘Do Nothing To Change Your Life’ in which he recognises this problem and argues that we need to change our thinking and find ways to build Sabbath time into our daily routines and rhythms of life.
These may be times of worship, times of just stopping and enjoying Creation, times to enjoy fellowship with others or ourselves. They may be times to just stop and rest, or as Stephen puts it ‘don’t just do something, sit there!’