Rector's April 2014 Letter

Doing less to accomplish more?

As Chris is writing an article this month, my contribution will be very short – quite appropriate as my theme is ‘Less is more’!  As part of my Lent thinking, I have been reading a very interesting book called ‘Scarcity’, about people react when they are short of necessary resources – whether of money, time, food, sleep or anything else that they need – and how that can lead to being less and less able to focus on longer term issues, so that more and more of our mental ‘bandwidth’ is spent worrying about whatever it is we are short of, leading to poor long term decisions that eventually catch up with us and make matters worse.

What the book is saying is that we need to keep or create some ‘slack’ in our lives; a little emergency fund; some time that is not scheduled; not as a luxury but because otherwise one knock can mean that things rapidly go from bad to worse.  This is a message that we, and our society, need to hear, as ‘slack’ is gradually squeezed out in the name of ‘economy’ and ‘efficiency’.  But in most cases, the slack that was reduced was not really wasted ‘spare time’, but time that enabled other tasks to be done; enabled unexpected contingencies to be accommodated without detriment to everyday operations.  And then there will be another round of cuts, and what then?

Lent is traditionally a time to ‘give something up’; of experimenting with doing without.  Why not use the last couple of weeks of it to carve some slack into our lives, in whatever area God may prompt us that we need it?  Part of my Lent this year has been to turn off my computer and television after a certain time in the evening, and to go to bed earlier – not easy for a natural night owl!  But already, I am feeling good effects from it.  Where in your life are you experiencing scarcity?  Paradoxical as it might seem, is there some way you could create a little slack there to give yourself a breathing space?  Is there a task you could give up, at least for Lent?  An expense you could do without?  An hour spent doing something you don’t really care about?

Have a good Lent, and a wonderful Easter Resurrection!

Rev’d Karen Spray                           01392 877400                                     church@revdkaren.org.uk


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