Active Inactivity


I’ve just had a very weird thought. As I’ve lain awake with a teeny bit of chest pain, I got to thinking it’s been a rather unproductive year, ministry-wise. I’ve not been able to do half what I wanted to do. First off, I was on sabbatical leave for three months in the autumn. Then, in the Springtime, I’ve been off sick: three months completely off, then two months on reduced hours. I’m still not completely well. 

But then I got to thinking what a strange year it has been. By the end of next weekend, I will have baptised ten people in the last year. Ten! Four of those were in the River Jordan which was amazing. That’s far more than at any other time. And I’ll have had the privilege of leading four folk through a prayer to accept Christ as their Saviour. 

Now how strange is that? In a year when I’m just sitting quietly and reflecting, or forcibly laid aside, God is still active and busy in the hearts of women and men. And he still has a plan for me too, as I submit to and slot into His master plan for the salvation of the world.

It’s a bit like the old duck with me. Not a lot going on on the surface, but things still happening underneath. 

It reminds me of Mary and Martha. When Jesus came to their house Martha was busy slaving away in the kitchen while Mary was just sitting listening to Jesus. When Martha challenged Mary she was told she had it all wrong. The important decision was to sit at the Master’s feet. The thing is, I’m more of a Martha by instinct. Actually, I’m a strange Martha/Peter/Thomas hybrid, full of anxieties and overwork and jumping in with both feet. 

But I’ve also learned the lessons they learned. That I am loved as I am and forgiven for my shortcomings and I can come, chastened, to bow at the Master’s feet, declaring “My Lord and my God!’

My only question is whether I can learn the lesson of active inactivity when I’m not off sick or on sabbatical. Time will tell my friends, time will tell…