A welcome break
Genesis 18: 1-10
1 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3 He said, ‘If I have found favour in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way – now that you have come to your servant.’
‘Very well,’ they answered, ‘do as you say.’
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. ‘Quick,’ he said, ‘get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.’
7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9 ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ they asked him.
‘There, in the tent,’ he said.
10 Then one of them said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.’
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.
Genesis 18: 1-10 is one of those things I love about the Bible. It’s a little vignette. It’s a wee bit of basic human interaction stuff in a book bursting with wisdom and really.big.things. You really should read it. Someone comes round for tea unexpectedly. It’s beautiful. Grab some food, make it all work… Enjoy the moment.
Recently in my GP practice in Irvine we realised 2 very important things:
We were so busy we barely had time to breathe.
We could spend so much time (a whole day) in front of patients and in front of computers that we never really saw each other.
How awful is that? Busy beyond belief and believing you are all on your own.
I think a lot of us feel this way a lot of the time. Its just one thing after another and the tyranny of the mobile phone just makes it worse. I know that, for myself, it seems like I am never truly separated from work, I’m always accessible.
It’s bewildering, what on earth did we do before?
Well, we did a few things:
1.We got bored.
2. We had to think.
3. We sought out genuine contact with other human beings.
We had to think and we made contact with other humans. This really isn’t news but this is what we evolved for. This really is where we “live”.
In my practice we decided that — come what may (excluding unexpected disaster) we would meet every day for coffee at 10 o’clock.
We would just stop. For 10 minutes.
Like the lunch on race day at Ayr or Ascot, like cucumber sandwiches in a game of county cricket. The pause.
This is a beautiful and a holy thing. In the middle of the rush there can be a pause. To notice each other, to hear each other, to break bread or merely put on the kettle. In this little thing we honour each other.
The space to make spirit move, to learn, to share and to return to the race invigorated and refreshed. A mini resurrection of the soul.
Sometimes God dwells in these cracks, in this quiet space.
Be resurrected in the space between the noise.
Let me remember to pause
All is not pedal to the metal
Time and space rushing past.
A blur of sound and fury.
It’s the getting up from the desk.
It’s the walking away.
It’s the deep inspiration and the letting go of breath.
It’s the quietness or the chat.
It’s the measured tones
Where we can hear you speak
Where there’s a hint of your purpose
And the sanctity of a pause.