From Rev Tom Phillips Desk 31 December 2017

Evonne and I will be away from Monday for three weeks of leave.  We’re going to be going down to Central Otago for a couple of weeks which we’re looking forward to.  Evonne’s booked us on a couple of day trips, including a 54km bike ride along the old rail trail near Alexandra; the sorts of things we often talked about doing when we lived down near that area for over eight years but never did.  We’ll also be able to catch up with some very good friends of ours which we’re also looking forward to.  Let’s hope the weather’s good and that we can have some time-out that we all look forward to having.

I know I’ve harped on about a particular thing this year a bit, but the reason I have is because it is so important in our walk of discipleship.  That thing?  ‘Being’ as well as ‘doing’.

All our lives, we have learned how to do stuff, predominantly because we have to.  We need to work (a ‘doing’ thing), so that we can keep a roof over our heads and put food on the table.  We make things, we create things, we participate in things; all good most likely, but all still ‘doing’.  The thing is though that we then often transfer that one-sided practice even into our walk with God.  Yes it’s most important that we are about getting involved in day-to-day ministry of one kind or another in some place in our lives, but there can then be that unfortunate transfer which we’re all vulnerable to, which is that even our time with God, our prayer, becomes a ‘doing’ thing.  We feel we have to ‘do’ prayer, or ‘do’ quiet-times.  Yet although we are called to interceded for example, (a ‘doing’ prayer) we must also have ‘being’ times with God.  Times to just sit in His presence.  Times begun with committing that time to Him, then just sitting and listening for His voice, His promptings, or just His unique rest.

Sometimes, God can’t get a word in because we’re ‘doing’ prayer when all He really wants is time with you, just you.  He wants to have room to speak, to share His heart with the one He loves….you.

So this summer, why don’t you give it a go.  Just start with twenty minutes, or even just five.  Start slowly and see where it leads you.  Don’t worry if your mind wanders off track. If it does, as soon as you’re aware, just come back on track.  No criticism of yourself, but just ‘be’ in your Father’s presence. You’ll be surprised how good it feels.