I will be the first to admit that I have an addiction.
I love books, and find that I can rarely pass a bookseller without walking away with one, or two books. Unlike some people, I actually read all the books I buy. I purchased a small book entitled “The Contemplative Minister: Learning to lead from the still centre.” by Ian Cowley. This small pocket book fit nicely into my jacket pocket while I was travelling via Easy Jet – as everyone knows that Easy Jet charges an arm and a leg for any extra baggage.
I finished the book during the flight. Afterwards I really wondered if this was the idea given the title of the book. I think I preached on the the first chapter, ‘Being and Doing’, but failed to listen to my own words.
One thing that stuck with me, however, is a small section called ‘Control of the diary’. I flip through my diary and see that I spend a lot of time doing, and very little time being. In essence, prayer has become the last thing on a long list of to-do items. It shouldn’t be this way, even though I know it often happens to me. My fast read, my full calendar were a really message to me about my own priorities.
I’ve started getting up earlier so that I may say the Morning Prayer office and not find myself rushing and speed reading; ready to jump up to another task. The end of my day is completed with Evening Prayer, or Compline. Already I have noticed my outlook changing. I hope also that this prayerful lifestyle helps in the parish, as I pray for the many parishioners in the chaplaincy day by day.