Ramblings of a Curate!!
- the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.
Throughout my ministry, the diocese has promoted the importance of well being. The clergy need to have an opportunity during the day or the week to shut off, recharge, and escape the vocation's pressures upon us.
In case you were wondering my way to escape is badminton, cycling, hiking and running twenty miles every other day... Don't laugh, of course, it is the fantasy world of superheroes and star wars and my COLLECTABLES not toys...
Escapism is a way we can ignore reality and immerse ourselves in another world, a world without pressure, pain, stress, and kids.
Reflecting upon this, I feel that for many people business is also a form of escapism. We take on things so that we don't need to deal with reality or the things that truly matter. Escapism prevents us from doing things that we need to do either because we don't want to do them out of laziness or a sense of fear.
The fear that we won't get it right or do a good enough job, a fear of what people think of us. We busy ourselves so much that we miss out on those times with our families, or that feeling of accomplishment when we finish that DIY job we have been putting off.
By living in a fantasy world or one that is busy with stuff we miss out on those deep relationships we could have with one another. When people ask for volunteers to help; to visit someone, or read the bible with another person, people look down at the floor because they want to binge-watch a series or just sit in the quietness of our rooms where nothing can get to us. All because we are afraid that we won't know what to say to someone who is going through a hard time.
Escapism also offends God as it becomes a sin. Sin is disobedience to God's calling upon our lives. To love Him first, to be in a relationship with Him and then to love others. Come to church on Sundays as a gathered community giving all the glory and praise to God. To meet in life groups and honour your one to ones. To stand up for what is right, to be a voice speaking up for those who don't have one.
Escapism places other things in front of all of those, it busy's us, distracts us from what really matters because we feel it's too hard or we are not comfortable.
Escapism done wrong can lead to us failing to love God, as it is rooted in self. How does it make me feel and not how does it make God feel?
Rico Tice writes in 'Faithful Leaders' that; the definition of failure "is being successful at the things that don't matter".
We can make up so many excuses, I know I do when it comes to some of the difficult things in ministry, we can escape from them by making ourselves busy and saying we don't have the time. But we will be failing God, and one another if we continue.
So, what are we escaping from, is it disobeying what God has called us to, are we being so successful at being busy that we are not honouring God and our brothers and sisters?
What things do we need to stop to take up what God wants and become a success in God's eyes?
Do not fear the unknown don't allow it to stop you from receiving all the blessings God has for you as you step out fully trusting in Him, knowing that He is enough.
There are a lot of things we can escape from in this world but one thing you can not escape from is God's judgment, the question is will you hear "welcome you good and faithful servant".
St Andrews Church