Dr John Smith: Slow down and listen

Slow down and take time to listen, says Dr John Smith
Slow down and take time to listen, says Dr John Smith

Is this a busy time of year for you?

Several times a day people say to me something like: “It’s a busy time for you then, this time of year, with Christmas and that.”

And the honest response is: “Yes, I am busy, but we are all very busy aren’t we?”

The roads are busy, the streets crowded, schools frenetic and shops busy.

Women, and it is usually women, are at their wit’s end trying to fit it all in.

I want to shout out “slow down, wait awhile, all will be well”, but no, we never seem to manage that. We are saturated with it all.

But I still love it.

I love to see friends meeting, sharing a meal together, singing along with the choirs outside the supermarkets.

I love the idea of giving and receiving gifts as much as I hate the idea of it all being too much and too expensive.

I love the sense of joy in the world and I hope that you sense it too, and that with that sense I know people (that’s you and me) give more to charities.

For some there is no joy; grief and loss have robbed them of it.

Some are unemployed, others homeless.

We all know that, and somehow we need to show we care.

We cannot simply put up the Christmas barricades as if nothing is happening in our town, our country and and our world.

I hope that you have noticed that I have left someone out.

I have left the best until last, and I hope that you will recognise this whether you are a person of faith or not – Jesus Christ.

His cradle was so low that shepherds could kneel before it and look eye-level into the face of God, and if we are to hear him speak, we need to slow down, come down to earth and listen.

Don’t be surprised at what you might hear.