A humously perceptive post from Stephen Cherry here. The book that has been linked in at the end if this post is also a very good resource.
We all get it. Some of us look for it. Some of us long for it. Many of us hate it. None of us know what to say when we hear it: ‘This is your busy time, vicar.’
So – what should we say? Here are eight ideas to try.
- ‘Do you think I would be talking to you if I was busy’. Pro: Cathartic – could be a bit of stress-buster. Con: tbh it is a bit rude.
- Inane laughter or wan smile. Pro: easier than thinking of something to say. Con: Reinforces dozy vicar stereotype.
- ‘Well there is rather a lot to do actually, but how are you?’ Pro: First bit is true. Con. Second bit now sounds disingenuous.
- ‘No I don’t do busy. But I do have quite a full life at the moment’. Pro: Honest and puzzling. Con: Just a tad too pompous.
- Burst into tears. Pro: Cathartic and turns the pastoral tables. Con: Risky – they might not care.
- ‘What do you think I do the rest of the year! I’ll tell you about busy’. Pro: Might make them think about the rest of the year. Con: No it won’t.
- ‘Hey, the schools are closed, and no one is having meetings. I am doing the pastoral thing – and that’s why I’m talking to you just now so let’s move on to something worth talking about. How’s that knee of yours.’ Pro: It started well. Con: It ended badly.
- ‘Nope, I’m not busy… ‘ and let them pick up the thread. Pro: Countercultural and prophetic. Con: Suggests you really have no higher purpose than listening and stuff (Hang on, is this a con?)
Now there must be better answers than those…. If you are not too busy, please share.
For more on busyness and vicaring checkout my book http://www.sacristy.co.uk/books/ministry-resources/beyond-busyness-time-wisdom-ministry
With thanks to ‘garybirchall1, @sadgrovem and @robertlawance for the tweets that inspired this blog. Glad you were not too busy to tweet today.