It seems like everybody is busy these days. (I was so busy this morning I forgot to schedule this post!) We wear our busyness like a badge of honor. If somebody asks us how we are doing we respond with, “Busy!” and that seems to satisfy the asker and we continue on our busy way.
Often a holiday will ratchet up our busyness exactly at the point when we should be slowing down. It takes work to celebrate a holiday, and the more important the holiday is to us, the more time we spend preparing for it and the less time we allow ourselves to simply anticipate it. We need to approach holy days more with our being and less with our doing.
This evening’s Maundy Thursday service is arguably my favorite service at River Road Church. Now I love the joy expressed with the Easter brass and the beauty and serenity of the Christmas candlelight, but there is something about the darkness, the silence, the anticipation of what is to come that speaks deeply to my soul. I’m always a little reluctant to leave and return to the harsh lights of the world.
So tonight after the service when we return home, my husband and I have decided to leave the lights off. Candles and oil lamps will be ready at the door to help illuminate rooms as we traverse our house tonight and tomorrow evening. Tablets and laptops and smartphones will remain tucked away and the TV will stay silent. Personal email and Facebook will go unchecked. We will slow down.
And Easter will come, new life from death, and maybe, just maybe, our short fast from things that make time slip away so fast will help feed a renewed commitment to embrace the space between, to stop using busyness as an excuse, or worse yet, as an answer so that we will stop giving and accepting “busy” as an answer and start engaging in conversation that speaks to our being and our passion.
It’s a small start. And sometimes that’s all you have time for.