Rob BellI`ve just finished watching a Rob Bell Nooma, called “Shells”. A Nooma is a short (10-12 mins) dvd centring on a sermon by Pastor Rob Bell (photo). Now I need to make it clear from the outset that Rob Bell is considered a somewhat controversial character because of some of his views, especially on hell. However I believe he is a deep thinker who is managing to think `beyond the box`, and I certainly like his Nooma series. I share this because I recognise that I might be biased.

Anyway this particular DVD is about how we use our time and how we often see busyness as the end goal; the busier we are the more succesful we must be, it seems.

Rob puts over the view that often we are busy picking up shells on the beach and then when we find something we really want (in the DVD it’s a starfish) we can`t have it because our hands are full of shells and there’s no room for anything else; and so we miss out !

He projects the theory that you can`t say `NO` until you`ve already said `YES` to something. In other words once you know what you want and where you`re going and said `YES` to that journey then you`ll simply pick up a lot of rubbish because its hard to say no. You end up with a handful of broken and useless shells rather than that which really mattered to you.

English: 3 Chamelea gallina shells Français : ...
Image via Wikipedia

 Being busy is a drug that many people are addicted to, and I would probably want to include myself in that. Just this afternoon, on my day off, I felt quite lost and guilty for sitting `doing nothing` so I got up and began sorting the garage out instead. There is a real danger to being busy.

Rob Bell speaks of the need to get into the rhythms of life and taking joy in them; the moments of work, the moments of relaxation, the moments of peace, the moments of sleep and so on.
I sometimes feel as though the Church has robbed me of that rhythm of life and has simply piled more and more busyness into my life. To a certain extent that’s true as more and more legislation comes across my desk, as more and more people demand a chunk of my time, and as more and more time is expounded on simply keeping the whole structure alive. However, I also have to take some of the blame as the final decision is mine. I can say `NO` to things; yes, I will have to live with the unpopularity it may bring or the guilt complex, but at the end of the day its my decision.
Somewhere in the Manse I have a picture which reminds me of the following statement……………………….
                                       “BUSYNESS IS A CHOICE, NOT A FACT”
or something like that. basically its down to me as to how I respond to requests and maybe I need to keep coming back to the “YES” I said to Jesus all those years ago, to following Him, learning of Him, desiring more of Him. That is the “YES” which determines my direction and gives the courage to say “No” 

2 thoughts on “Shells

  1. Truly a personal sermon! But we are all guilty of being too busy for God to get a word in edgeways or to allow him to refresh our souls, mind and body!

  2. I agree as you know I would; However, how do we prevent others from trying to load more shells onto you and how do we deal with the shells marked “guilt” or “useless” or “failure” when we say NO ?

    That is the hard part that I have to deal with, and I`m trying…………………….

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