Doing Nothing

What is Jesus doing?

Stephen Cotrrell asks of this picture (p48).

The answer apparently is nothing.  Well, nothing that we would see as productive. He is simply enjoying the daisies.  Staring at them with care and attention.  We might liken it to watching the grass grow, which is perceived as a boring occupation, but this is in fact full of fascination to Jesus.

There might be those who thought Jesus had so much to get on with, so much work to do, why was he taking time out to look with such care and concentration at the daisies?  Maybe precisely because he had so much to do…

Cottrell reminds (p48) us that “doing nothing” is not wasteful idleness, but contemplation.  Focussing entirely on creation – and delighting in it.

Resting in the presence of that which God has created is itself an act of adoration and praise (p49)

Yet so often we feel guilty if we stop and enjoy, if we rest in the wonder of the world God made.  Perhaps we should pay more attention to when Jesus stopped.  He regularly took time out.  His time of preparation was of apparently doing nothing, but in the doing nothing to prepare for what he knew he had to do.

Perhaps lent is a time to practice doing nothing.  To put aside busyness and ponder.  To literally take time to smell the roses.  To slow down and appreciate all that God has made and give to us to enjoy.  To focus on the moment, rather than rushing off to the next thing.  For in that moment, we may meet God in a new way.

Take time to do nothing other than enjoy what is around.  To delight in God’s creation.

These thoughts are reflecting on Spencer’s painting Consider the Lilies (seen here).

This year for Lent, I am reading Christ in the Wilderness by Bishop Stephen Cottrell, published by SPCK, reflecting on Stanley Spencer’s paintings of that title.

I’m not necessarily going to blog every day on it, just when something leaps out at me – and they will be thoughts rather than full blog posts

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