As I write this article part of my mind is focussed on preparing for our family holiday; we’re counting down the days and hours - in fact there are at this point in time exactly 4 days 18 hours 16 minutes and 25 seconds, or 411,385 seconds before our flight is due to take off. As usual there are so many things to plan and organise that if I’m not careful it will become all mind and time consuming. Add to that the pressure of making sure that there is cover for all eventualities whilst I’m away and that all the jobs that need to be done during my holiday are completed, the seconds seem to tick down even more quickly. Recently I went to a concert at the O2 Arena in London and there was a similar countdown to that event, as there are with most planned events in life. We tend to go through a mixture of different emotions during the countdown; the excitement of the event can be overtaken by worries that we might have missed something in the preparations, especially as time ticks away.
We’ve heard it said many times that we all have 24 hours in our day, but somehow the pace of life gets quicker and quicker and 24 hours just isn’t enough time to do everything that needs to be done. Or maybe it’s just that we need to cram as much into life as possible each day just to keep our heads above water.
Looking forward to things is a part of life; anticipation adds to the excitement, yet we can get caught up in the negative aspects which can spoil the good things that we look forward to. As the seconds and minutes go by, it can be all too easy to focus on the time that has passed and the stress that we are in rather than the time that is to come, as we are focused on all of the things that need to be done.
Perhaps that’s the time to take a step back from the busyness, to relax and reflect on where we are … Psalm 46 in the Bible says, “Be still, and know that I am God”. Even in the days of the Old Testament it seems that people were so busy that they needed to be reminded to slow down, to be still and know God. In good times and in bad it’s sometimes good to step back, stop the clock as it were, and remember that the God of creation is there for us.