On the rollercoaster of life, ‘Hanging on in there’ is about all we can do! The rose hip in the photograph is doing just that; holding within it, the promise of a new generation.
Jesus, in the parable of the sower, spoke about seed sowing and the potential for growth or not, depending on the soil type. It’s a great thought prompter for each of us. The choices we make and their effect on not just ourselves, but others.
We all have layers of understanding as we pass through our minutes, hours, and days. Sometimes we have to ‘park’ certain moments or challenges, in order to understand the broader picture. Each day we are bombarded by ‘analysis’ and comment and words of wisdom from the ‘experts’. It’s all a matter of perspective and interpretation.
Sometimes the ‘information’ and analysis becomes too much and we have to step back and reflect. Sometimes we have no answers but many questions, and that is fine. At the heart of life and understanding comes faith and trust and what I call the ‘still point’. That moment, when the clamour of noise in my head has to be quieted and I accpet that the ‘still pont’ is all I have.
But it’s like digging for something precious, not knowing what lies buried. Just like the exposed rock in the photograph; planed by the movement of ice, marked by the striations, and then used by humans to create an artwork, and/ or a reaching out to something beyond.
Layers of meaning is what I am trying tp descibe. That is the challenge we all face each day. The whisper of God through the Holy Spirit; breaking through the layers of our thinking, and reaching to touch our souls.
My first question to myself;’Why did I take this photograph of a section of a tree trunk? I’m guessing that it was the surprise in finding it. There’s a wonderful picture that Jesus paints, recorded in Matthew’s gospel (Chapter 13, verse 34..“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.‘ Curious but compelling.
The moment of suprise; the opening of doors; the new perspective. The sliced section through the tree trunk seems a little less prosaic, but it still offers that element of suprise.
We are living through suprising days, which challenge what we have regarded as our ‘norms’. I find myself needing to reset my compass, so to speak. To tune into a different way of seeing and doing. The challenge is to allow ourselves to be open to ‘seeing’ things differently, with the possibilty of finding something that has always been there, but often hidden. This is the step of faith; the uncovering of something lost or missed. like the person finding treasure in a field.
We are not told how the discoverer found the treasure which I think is the key to the story. In other words, our discovering is unique to each of us. God reveals what is hidden in an unexpected way. That’s the excitement and challenge of faith.
Say hello to Tim! He’s a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle; known as a Cockapoo.
I could probably end the musing at this point and just leave you with the title of the Blog and Tim! He is 18 months old, and already knows too much ! The title of the blog describes what I think Tim might be asking me…..
He lives his life in his own unique way as each of us does. We have our ups and downs and highs and lows. But I have a sense, from observing dogs that I’ve had in the past and Tim, that they understand the world and their relationship with us from their own point of consciousness.
‘What’s up?’ goes to the heart of what I think Tim was communicating to me in that precise moment I took the photograph. There was a kind of invitation to observe him and his world. To have a more simplistic mind set and embrace the moment of being alive. I spend my days worrying about all kinds of things, particularly with the unsettling nature of the pandemic. The Creator points us to the Creation and encourages us to observe and learn.
Helen posed the question, ‘What’s up?’ to me the other day. She could see that something was disturbing me. My default is always…’Oh nothing….’ But she never gives up until I have to verbalise what is disturbing me. In the act of doing that, the spell is broken and what was disturbing me is confronted.
God whispers into our hearts and souls and minds, throughout the day….without taking ‘no’ for an answer. Often it’s imperceptible; just like the moment that Tim asked the question, ‘What’s up?’ Othertimes it’s very direct….and the best thing is, that God never gets bored of the same old answers!!! …..
This labyrinth is outdoors in the gardens of St Clare’s Convent in Clay Cross in Derbyshire. It is based on the medieval labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral, in France. Walking it was a daily discipline for me during times of retreat at the Convent.
Those moments are lodged in my memory, because of the constant suprises which occured as I gently moved towards the centre and back again. For me it speaks of life and being and the all encompassing love of God.
If you reflect back on your life, you will no doubt remember the ‘Turning Point’ moments. It may be something major, or one of those imperceptible moments when something changed and your life began to take a different direction. Perhaps you are in such a place as you read this.
The tree is dispalying the rhythun of the seasons, in its transition from autumn into winter. Our lives transition themselves moment by moment, and we react to these from our own uniqueness.
I’m often conscious that my musings will reach you in ways that I can never predict. There is a whole process at work which we are each caught up in. You will have ‘turning point moments’ today and every day. When you do, take a space to either record the moment, or give yourself time to let the thought speak to you.
The tree is going through a turning point moment as a preparation for what happens and follows during winter. There is a sense of celebration as the leaves parade their colours. The ending holds the promise of a new beginning.
‘I can see clearly now the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. It’s gonna be a bright (bright) sunshiny day…..’
The opening words of a song recorded by Jonny Nash in 1972. I know that I won’t be able to get it out of my head for much of today!
Seeing really is believing, either outwardly with our sight and other senses, or inwardly in our thought life.
I took this photograph in Howick Churchyard yesterday. There is a carving to be seen, of a celtic cross lying on its side, with a shaft and plinth just below the capstone of the later wall. It quite roughly hewn and it was a massive suprise when it was pointed out to me!
There are many thoughts whizzing around my head in this moment, but the predominant one is the suprise that hit me when I saw it for the first time.
Today, be ready for suprise, beause truly, seeing is believing, even in the seemingly ordinary moments
The sea has been very turbulent over the past few days; I just managed to capture this moment, yesterday afternoon, as a rolling wave hit the harbour wall. The navigation light is framed by the wave, and the promenade light standa sentinel over the whole scene.
It can seem as though we are tossed about on a rough sea in these moments in which we live. We all deal with things in our own way, but sometimes, I have to confess, I feel somewhat adrift. Each day brings a mix of news which can be relentless in its effect on my mental state.
Waves and light kind of summarise my days. Unexpected moments of suprise or insight bring light into the day, and help to regain perspective. For me, this is the work of the Holy Spirit of God who reaches out to all of us in a multitude of ways. The harbour navigation light looked like it was about to be overwhelmed, but after the wave passed. the light continued to do it’s work.
I simply share this with you from my own perspective, as I do each day. I hope and pray that my thinking resonates with yours. I have no answers, but live with masses of questions. But with the profound belief that through all the storms of life, for each of us, the love of God is poured out through the Holy Spirit,..into our hearts.
Just droplets of water condensing on grasses’. It reminded me of Jesus’ words to a large crowd…’Let anyone who is thirsty, come to me and drink,.’ .Curious but compelling. Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit, who is also described as the provider of ‘living water.’
All very mysterious and not easy to fathom. But it leaves an impression in the heart and mind which lingers. The droplets of water speak of refreshment; Jesus’ words send our thinking into another dimension.
It may seem like a nice idea, but something which is way beyond our understanding. Very easy at this point to put it to one side, as something to ‘come back to’. But I find that the words of Jesus do not easily leave my consciousness; they are compelling.
There are days, if we’re honest, when we do feel that ‘inner thirst’. Outwatdly, everything seems OK, but inwardly we struggle with doubt and cry out for what I can only descibe as ‘inner refreshment’. Jesus was clear that the Holy Spirit is the source and giver of peace and hope and vision, and very much more.
Whatever this day will bring for you, just take a moment, be still, and hear the whisper of the one who dispenses ‘living water’, for the soul.
Questions are a constant narrative in our thought lives. Sometimes we can answer then ourselves, other times we need the help of another…or Google!!! Faith is built on questions and quite often, questions that don’t have easy answers.
The photograph above was taken on a coastal walk. My eye settled upon a whole heap of stones and rubble, that had been abraided by the movement of the sea, over days and weeks and years. Some of the stones had been moved by ice sheets during the last Ice Age, others eroded from local outcrops, but at the centre of this group is what appears to be the remains of a man made brick chimney, possibly from the time of coal mining in this area.
I could wax lyrical about all kinds of thoughts I have in my head, but I just want to focus on this scene. Because somehow, I think it raises questions about how we see things; the questions that we ask, particularly when it comes to faith and belief. The way each of us see oursleves and others is utterly unique, and I thank God for that. This jumble of stone and brick has its own narrative, but we give it our own interpretation. This is a complete act of faith on our part. We can prove some things but are often left with mystery at the centre of our thoughs.
I believe that at this point of so called ‘mystery’ we meet with God in our lives. This is a a time of suprise for us. The moment of questions and answers that we might not expect, but which send us off on a differnt way of seeing or thinking, or believing.
I hope the questions are bubbling within your thoughts. and that you will have a space today, however short, when you have an ‘a-ha’ moment !!!