Thursday 22 November 2012

The art of reading nothing: or how I learned to still keep worrying about my current lack of reading

Today, I have squeezed a few jobs, pushed a few around, moved mountains, destroyed fortresses(!) and now find myself in a place where I have a few hours "spare" to do some reading. The hours are not really spare, though they should be.

As I sit down at my desk instead of reading, I start typing a blog post, using these most precious gifts: time, energy and inclination.

Time to read.

Energy to read.

Inclination to read.

But I'm not reading. And I'm not reading for a few reasons:

The first is because I am writing this.

The second is because I know that actually, while I have found time to read, I have a million and one jobs to do, and people waiting for those jobs to be done. Once again we come to the great question of time management, of what is essential and urgent, and essential and non-urgent, and etc etc etc.

But in the end, it all still amounts to too much sand in an already full sandbox.

So, I lay these things down, I accept this is the case, and I persist, no, I will still read.

Which brings me to the third reason I am not reading.

What do I read?

What can I read?

Because, before me are a number of books, all with validity and reasons to read.

I have the Diocesan bookgroup's book, Moberley's, The Theology of The Book of Genesis - which is fantastic. And which I need to read more of for a book group meeting in December.

But I also have John Inge's fabulous, Theology of Place which I need to dip into to complete the next part of my Diocesan IME assignment.

But at the same time, I really want to invest a bit more time in Michael Moynagh's Church For Every Context as I think through and prepare the new service to begin in January.

Yet, I'm also aware that I need to read some more devotional reading, and so Tozer stares at me.

I'd really like to take the advice of the Dean of Liverpool who on my ordination retreat before priesting encouraged folk to have a commentary on the go, being read parallel to the Bible, devotionally. So a commentary on Luke bought for that purpose, smiles down on me from the packed bookcase.

Then there's the three or four books in my, "started and love but must sort out the baptism and will pick this up some time" books, who sit, in a corner, a bookmark in each. Comparing notes. "He only read 20 pages of me" - "you're lucky, he only read my introduction".

Then there's the Bible. SHOCK HORROR. Sat, hopefully not collecting dust, but tempted.

And finally, there's the book I've been wanting to read, receipt tucked inside the cover. Glossy, shiny cover that it is. But this book worries me, will it too just find its way to the "started but not finished pile".

So I feel rather impotent about what I might read. I have a book of short stories on the go, and a magazine, but I don't want to read those things: I've managed to put aside 120 minutes to read deep and profound theological material.

It's timetabled in place. Scraped and shaped, into a busy week, but its a block of time.
120 minutes.

Well actually, now it's 119 minutes, and by the time I've made that cup of Earl Grey it will be closer to 110.

Wednesday 21 November 2012


the news filters through, synod says no, synot.

Through it all we still have to keep striving to embody love.

And to recognise that the need for women bishops isn't to pander to the societal expectations, but rather, to Jesus'.