The emptiness. I know that most would give anything for even ‘five minutes peace’. Most can’t find a space in their over-packed diaries. Life is hurtling on at break-neck speed and there is no sign of an empty space anywhere.
There is another set of people who find quite the opposite. We have so much quiet, so many empty spaces in our schedules, that we don’t struggle to find peace. We have so much of it that it can present an entirely different challenge:
What do you do when you can’t do anything?
I was looking out across placid, blue Sheephaven Bay in Donegal last weekend, watching a sail boat not moving across the water. At first I thought it was due to a lack of wind, but then I realised it wasn’t moving because it was anchored there. Sometimes just because we are not moving, it doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t a purpose to who we are.
Earlier today I was standing by my car with no notion how I was going to get back to the house with just my walking stick. The builder called to me and came down his ladder. At the same time, my neighbour came out of his drive and took my arm. I have lost count of the times I have been still and kindness has arrived. It is humiliating and I wish I could rush away by myself to avoid everyone else. But maybe there is a purpose to all this that I need to learn. Even Jesus sat down, slept and went away to pray. He wouldn’t have invited us to do the same if He didn’t see the importance of it.
I have lost the knack of superficial conversation because usually I am there for a longer period. But actually I prefer going deeper with someone than running past them. Having an anchor doesn’t have to hold us back, it just keeps us where we’re meant to be.
For whoever we’re meant to help in that moment.