Wednesday, February 15, 2017
a daily sabbath: urgent, important, necessary and restore
The last 15 days have been very intense here at KCML. A Pre-intern block course of 6 days to bring our incoming interns up to speed was immediately followed by a Summer block course of 9 days. In addition, KCML:Dunedin hosted a variety of public events, including our inaugural lecture and winetasting, a creation care workshop and a Christian education event resourcing children and youth workers. All told, we’ve resourced over 130 people over the Summer blockcourse, engaging all sorts of ministers, leaders and lay folk from the wider church. It’s been great.
I woke this morning aware that in the intensity, a good number of tasks have been left undone. “This is a really busy spell, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can,” has been a necessary, and valid, response. The result is a building inbox of necessary and urgent tasks. Equally, 15 intense days mean I’m personally tired and drained. Yes, I will take time off to relax. But this tempts me into a binary: days working either on relaxing or on the necessary and urgent.
In recent days, I have also been pondering the creation story of Genesis 1. At the end of six days work, God enters a sabbath rest. Hurrah for weekends. Yet equally, during every day of work, God is also pausing, to name things as good. Every bit of hard work is enjoyed not in hindsight, while relaxing, but also in the moment. In other words, in Genesis 1, a sabbath pattern is both daily and weekly.
Pondering this, I found myself drawing a quadrant with four parts – urgent, important, necessary and restore.
This gives me a way to structure my day. Daily, I will seek to spend time in each of these four quadrants. For every urgent task, I will also undertake a necessary task. For every necessary task, I will undertake a restoration task. As I gain energy from some restoration, I will invest that in an important task. And so on, around the quadrant: a daily sabbath pattern.
I have run off copies of the quadrant on the photocopier. As I finished work today, I used a copy and reflected my way around the quadrant.
- Important and I noted the sending of an email about work needed for a meeting next Wednesday.
- Urgent and I had supplied some words to a colleague needed them for an event on Friday.
- Necessary and I noted thankyou letters written to three folk involved in our blockcourse.
- Restore and I recalled lunch outdoors in the sunshine and an end of work drink with the team.
Tomorrow when I arrive, another day will await me. I will write out my to-do list, making sure there are tasks in each of the four quadrants. In so doing, I will be entering a daily sabbath pattern.