Sarah McCarten


3 Comments

When I tell you that I didn’t get out of my car.

IMG_0082I saw her in the rear-view-mirror of my car. I was in a service station about half way between my parents’ home and my home, about a hundred miles from each. I was surprised to see her as she was so far from home. I thought about getting out of the car and saying hello, but I was in a rush and she looked like she was talking to her friend.

I drove out of the service station I felt gutted that I hadn’t made the effort and got out of my car, I could turn back but I was on the motorway and it would have added at least 30 miles and a half an hour to my journey. Besides, I couldn’t even be sure she’d be there on my return. I had plenty of stuff to do when I got back to London and I was sure I’d see her at some or other church thing some or other time.

It played on my mind the rest of the journey. I’d spent so much time with this lady in my teenage years, she’d made such an effort with me, she’d really helped me realise my potential, she was one of the first grown ups to not treat me as though I was weird and I as though I just needed to conform to some evangelical ideology of faith, she’d let me do my thinking for myself. I’d been too lazy to get out of the car and say hello to her.

I visited my parents a couple of months after that and they told me that this lady was sick, she had cancer, but she probably wasn’t going to die, it was curable. I knew that 1 in 3 people in the UK got cancer each year. I didn’t know, and still don’t really, how many people die from it. I went on about my day like nothing had changed, I trusted that the doctors knew what they were talking about, and in my experience, if they’d said someone might die, there was a chance they’d live, if they’d said they’d live, they had. If I’m honest I thought that this lady would probably end up cancer free and she’d have a good Jesus story to tell.

Since no one had mentioned it I’d forgotten that she was I’ll so when I was visiting my parents recently and my mum got a text message it wasn’t the first thing that came to my mind. My mum told me that this lady had died.

Actually died, like I’d never see her again, I’d missed my chance; this wouldn’t be a happy Jesus story. It was just crap.

I was angry with the colleague of my mother’s who had text her to let her know. I was angry with myself also, firstly because I’d not gotten out of the car those few months ago but mostly because I had never told her how much her support had meant to me during my formative years.

Now I’ll never get the chance.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Being Busy

Can I tell you something? I hate being busy. I hate not having time to myself. I genuinely like being on my own, don’t feel sorry for me because I mean it. I really mean it. I feel like our society tells us that it’s good to be busy, being busy is the thing do be doing, it doesn’t really matter what you’re busy with. I was out with friends recently, one of them said ‘oh I’m so busy, I’ve got this and that to do.’ Another friend chirped in ‘I’ve got this and that an the other to do.’ I said ‘oh actually I’m not very busy at all this week.’ And it was like a shock to them. Like I’d admitted that I’d intentionally bought the wrong shoes (or something). It got me to wondering what is it with our generation’s preoccupation with business?

Here are three reasons, I think, we like to be busy.

Being busy protect us from having to invest in real relationships.
If we’re constantly going from social situation to another, spreading ourselves thinly it means that no one knows us that well. It means that we get to spend a little bit of time with a lot of people. I personally don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to be. We see this in the life of Jesus, he spent his days with 12 others, sure he had other acquaintances but these 12 were really the people he spent time with. Even beyond that, he had a smaller circle within the disciples whom he was closer to. That, for me, speaks volumes.

Guys, please choose wisely who you spend your quality time with, it is important. If you want to be known and to know people the way to do it is to spend time, good time, with people, and unfortunately there are only 24 hours in a day. If however, you want to remain an enigma, carry on, being busy, not being known, but I am convinced that the loneliness will catch up with you some day.

It keeps us from considering what’s important.
I know what’s important. Making time to call friends and family who are far, writing, thinking, reading. These things are important to me. So why do I construct ‘business’ in my life to prevent me from doing these things? It’s because these things are the most challenging things in my life, they make me consider who I am and what I’m about, they make me assess myself. That’s the most difficult thing I have to do. So if I’m busy doing other things, it is easy to push these things aside. Even though I know it’s these things that make me who I am. Sometimes, I don’t want to be who I am.

It makes us feel important.
If you’ve always got something to do, it makes you feel important. It’s pretty simple really. We fill our time with things that aren’t important in order to make us feel important. We do it subconsciously. Often it not to make us look important to those around us, it’s simply that if we look in our diary’s and see that they’re full we feel popular.

So, that was Sarah McCarten’s guide to being busy. Please don’t for a minute think that I want you all to live like a hermit, I think it’s important to be doing stuff, I just think we need to think about the stuff we’re doing!

Thanks so much for readin]g! It really does mean a lot to me!

Please note that I found this picture/quote after I wrote this blog – just saying!