Time to slow down

A British missionary arrived in Africa keen to share the Good News of Jesus. He hired local porters to carry his gear and set off into the jungle. After a full day’s marching through the heat of the day they stopped for the night, and after a fitful night’s sleep he was eager to set off once more. But the porters refused to move and no amount of cajoling, pleading or the offer of bribes made any difference. Eventually he asked them why only to be told, ‘We’re waiting for our souls to catch up with our bodies.’

Perhaps in these days of lockdown and social distancing we’re all being given the opportunity to learn from the wisdom of those porters. The pace of modern life has accelerated exponentially over the decades with almost every moment of our lives filled with activity and endless distractions. We’ve crammed our lives ever fuller with material comforts and fancy gadgets. But at the same time, we’ve become more anxious, stressed and fearful for the future. Unlike those porters we seem to have neglected our souls and left them far behind. Not for nothing does the Psalmist advise us to ‘Be still and know that I am God’.

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