STOP THE CLOCK! Where does time go to? Surely Christmas was only half an hour ago and Ash Wednesday’s already just around the corner. God grant me the grace when Lent arrives to spend a bit of time alone in the “Wilderness” (gorgeously described by many commentators as a place undisturbed by the “works” of humankind). We understand that Jesus was led out into the wilderness alone. He wasn’t facing down demons in a Lent Group.

One of the demons I shall have a go at facing down is the one that’s constantly telling us all to run faster. It might as well be “jump down from this Temple and I’ll catch you”. Will anyone “catch” me? You know, I don’t believe that any more than Jesus did. It’s my own responsibility¬†to slow down a bit – and I know that that involves a bit more effort than just shouting “stop the clock”. But let no-one pretend that it’s easy, that’s all. Because it ain’t.

And let no-one be persuaded by the voices that encourage us to abrogate our personal responsibilities to them or to the institutions they represent – especially the “religious” voices. Because a) they don’t mean it, and b) God made us capable of recognising that if we’re to have a share of responsibility for all life we must first learn to be responsible for our own.