Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Finding space for wonder

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A couple of things recently got me thinking about the lives we lead and the need for rest, relaxation or quiet.

Part of the three peaks from Corn-du
Behind the falls
Earlier in the month I took three days out and spent them with one of my brothers in the Brecon Beacons, walking, chilling and relaxing. For me there is nothing at all like the beauty and majesty of God's creation to help me find a more relaxed and peaceful state of mind.

Standing behind a waterfall, water rushing over the falls with a sound like thunder, the air damp with spray, the water splashing and foaming - so very primeval, nature in the raw and so incredible. On another day we climbed a few small peaks - Pen-y-Fan, Crybin, Fan-y-big and at times as the clouds broke we could see the sun peeking through laying furrows of golden light on the hillsides, contrasting with the darkness of the clouds. Maybe a dim reflection of God's glory and a reminder of how amazing and wonderful God is.

One the last day we climbed Corn-du, the clouds cleared and the view was incredible we could see the peaks and the paths we had walked the day before - the view is breathtaking, magnificent and awesome. My Father made all of this for me to play on!

Last week I met with a bunch of other new pastors for a reflection day, periods of instruction, quiet, reflection and listening at Clare Priory in Suffolk. Again once I let the busy state of my mind subside I was able to listen to the gentle words of encouragement that God had for me. What a wonder that God is interested in me!

So often our lives are dictated by the must do, the must achieve, the deadlines, the push to reach the next goal - driven by purpose and plan with each new idea and task adding to the burden. I wonder who's agenda we actually follow - ours or Christ's - my yolk is easy and my burden is light Jesus tells us, but our programs and plans load us more heavily than a camel in the desert laden for the market.

If we don't find those quiet, reflective places where we can decouple and relax and hear God more clearly we risk missing his voice altogether in among the meetings and plans and lists. As one of the busy periods for church comes I know that my time out will help me hear more clearly and so keep the burden light.

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