Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Time for the cat

The cat was sitting on the hedge. Not in a hat. Not on a mat. But on the hedge. From my upstairs seat on the bus I could watch him trying desperately to balance on the branches whilst maintaining an air of feline superiority. The hedge was at least 6ft high, giving the cat a prime position to pounce on the unsuspecting passers by. If only he could balance long enough to jump!

It’s not a usual sight to see on the daily commute to work. It amused me greatly and I wanted to point the little fella out to those around me. But that’s not really the kind of thing you do on a bus full of strangers. I just kind of hoped that people would notice him themselves.

However, as I glanced around the upper deck I saw that only one or two others had spotted the adventurous cat. Others were too busy to notice. Reading the free paper, listening to music, sending text messages, talking on the phone. Too busy to notice the things going on around them. The quiet things, the little things.

In our modern culture, speed and efficiency are best. Multitasking and effective time management are important skills to be developed and honed. We constantly rush from one activity to the next ensuring that we don’t waste any of our time.

Waiting is frustrating. Queues are frustrating. Time wasters and traffic jams are frustrating. Because we feel they’re not productive uses of our time.

But just because our time is full, does it always mean its productive? Is time spent rushing and stressing and working on 5 things simultaneously really what we should be aiming for?

If we find something to fill every spare moment we have, if we are constantly living in a state of hustle and bustle, we miss the quiet things, the little things that are all around us. The things that speak to us in a whisper not in a shout.

“Be still, and know that I am God”
Psalm 46:10

Sometimes we just need to slow down, quieten down. Stop and listen. We need to enjoy the journey, not just rush to the destination. We need to be open to the moments that can happen when we’re not too busy, not too rush, not too stressed. The opportunities that require our time in ways we cannot always plan for or understand. But that God can use to speak to us and to use us.

This is something that I have been thinking about quite a bit recently and I’m sure that I’ll come back to these thoughts again. God continues to challenge me personally about how I utilise my time and how I make myself available to Him. I don’t want to miss the whispers from His heart, the gentle encouragements, the moments that can make a difference. I want to make sure I have the time. Time to be what He needs me to be, when He needs me to be.

And maybe, possibly, the time to watch a funny cat too!

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