From Clair Combe, Chaplaincy Volunteer:
As term has progressed, life seems to have become more and more busy. I thought I would be used to the workload of my new job by now, but one month in and I’m still not. Work is becoming an ever-looming shadow, always more to do and never enough hours. I have left the house at 6.30 every morning this week, and never got back until dinner time. I’m loving it, and feel terribly lucky to be employed, but every moment of the day seems to be filled with teaching, meetings, or my still unfinished PhD thesis. I find myself dashing across to the Chaplaincy for only the odd hour, maybe only a couple of times a week, and never quite staying as long as I’d like.
At the end of next week is the chaplaincy retreat to Cold Ash. I have had it in my diary since September, conscious even then of how much I would need that mid-term break. Back then, I was adamant that I would make the time to go.
But as the number of other things I have to do built up, I started to question whether I would make the retreat at all. I knew I could commit that Saturday to a valuable day in the library, that Friday evening would give me a few more hours to get some lectures written. I could get a good half of that enormous to do list if I just spent the time in the office. I might even finish the PhD! Then I remembered I should be at an AGM on one night; as a committee member I really should turn up. Not to mention there is also a choir rehearsal, and surely it would be unfair to leave them short of a soprano? It seemed clear, I would just have to give the retreat a miss. Other things were simply too important.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Could you not watch with me one hour?’
Days go by when I barely give him five minutes, then a possibly less than convincing hour on a Sunday morning. Sometimes it is important to remember that other things are not too important. I will be going on retreat.