Today Lent begins – and for a good number of people that means they are giving up busyness. I am one of them. My wristband is in place, my ‘twibbon’ is on, I have ‘liked’ the Facebook page and hey, I have even written the eBook…
I am, you might say, committed.
Today is the point of no return. Somehow I have to keep myself out of the busy zone for 40 days.
So far it has not been easy. Preparing for the campaign has put pressure on the diary and I am still in catch-up mode. Nonetheless my Lent began with me being aware of walking a tad more slowly, being a bit more circumspect, giving people a minute or so rather than just passing the time of day while walking on.
I found my 30 minutes of do-nothing time. It did me good. Calmed me and cleared my mind. It helped me remember to open myself up to the wonder of this day just when I was getting submerged by worry for tomorrow.
As the day went on I was aware of plenty of other people signing up to be ‘NOT BUSY’ in one way or another. One person tweeted about her ten minutes of doing nothing – ‘my mind was all over the place,’ she said. I know the feeling. That’s why we need to persist. After a while the habit of a non-fragmented mind begins to build a cycle of positive feedback. We feel we have more time because we know we are going to make time. We feel calmer because we know we have decided not to panic.
This morning Radio Ulster phoned me to say that they were tickled with the idea and wanted to do an interview. They set me against a GP who was encouraging people to give up chocolate – for their waistlines. It was a good-natured debate and the presenter, Seamus McKee, thanked us both for cheering him and the listeners up. I agreed with the GP, who gave a very traditional Christian line describing prayer, fasting and almsgiving as the core disciplines of Lent. How could I disagree? Though I did have to insist that time was indeed more important than chocolate. And she agreed with me, twice saying, ‘I agree with the Canon’.
Those aren’t words I hear every day. Result!
Until 20.2.13 you can listen again to the interview: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01qljxz Start at: 57.51