Since my last blog input I have been in Guyana in South America which took me from my key ministry in the Sussex village of Horsted Keynes for three weeks in all to serve God's work elsewhere with St Giles' backing.
As Bishop of Guyana's UK Commissary I serve another sector of the mission and ministry of the universal church as I do in my Chichester diocesan work promoting apologetics, my writing of books and daily notes for Bible Reading Fellowship as well as in my involvement in producing programmes for Premier Christian Radio.
That part of us which seeks what is new is continually fanned by information that flows at us 24-7 and by the variety of service opportunities within the universal church and this can be unsettling to a leader, especially one paid as a parish priest. The continual exposure of one's life and mission exertions in a village begs a change of scene! This I am blessed to obtain through other tasks I serve, mainly, as in this blog, from my Rectory in the midst of attending to my parish.
When I find a good book to read I try to discipline myself to space it out so I can escape into it from parochial tasks like planning liturgies, finding replacement volunteers or dealing with contingencies like chasing up a bus firm whose driver damaged a man hole on church land.
Like the enjoyable book that takes my attention away from my priestly work or family involvements, those Christian commitments that take me on occasion to Guyana or to Premier in London or to research and write a book energise me in my primary work as a parish priest.
Multitasking is a skill I've been fine tuning over the years of my ministry for which I've done my best to discern tasks that have synergy, that is, serve to energise one another. A recent example is my getting the Bishop of Guyana interviewed on Premier Christian Radio and how the Guyana link blesses my parish as in the Bishop's insistence on tithing as good servant of the church's mission which is a wake up call to us.
In multitasking as a Christian leader you need to be obedient to those you are called primarily to serve in the sense of binding your energies to their mission action but, depending on the individual, there can be causes you serve in parallel which cross fertilise. I pray with you, reader, that discernment from God which opens or closes doors so the course we follow makes best use of our gifts, energises us and steers us away from what is draining or overwhelming.