Friday photo – more luck than skill

I was delighted to see this bar billiards table at the St Austell Brewery. Paul beat me with the last shot of the game! I have so many fond memories of playing all sorts of games as a child which is where my love of sport was birthed. A rainy day on holiday gave us the opportunity to have a bit of friendly competition and for me to hit some lucky shots but Paul the luckiest! At times I got frustrated because I couldn’t do what I knew needed doing but that is a good lesson to learn. I don’t have sometimes the skill or capacity to do something and am grateful for those who do. I am not always sure we value interdependence as we should.


Wondering Wednesdays – differing perspectives

I loved counting the time by blowing dandelions like this when I was young. They looked so beautiful, with the delicate seeds floating in the wind and my imagination wasth sparked. For me, dandelions were not weeds but bright flowers that would transform into these evocative heads. My folklore didn’t include wishes but now I have heard of it they are even more attractive. I am also aware that I don’t always see the more positive perspective, half empty comes more naturally than half full but I try to challenge myself to have hope and faith and invite God to renew my mind.

Musing Aloud: Jamais vu, that doesn’t sound familiar!

This was a term I came across for the first time a few weeks ago. It means the opposite to déjà vu, (the vivid sense you’ve experienced something before). It is when something happens which seems like it should be familiar, ordinary, but isn’t. It could be a place, a word, a person. You would normally know this instinctively, but it feels like you have heard the word, or being in the place for the first time.

It can be associated with certain types of illnesses and conditions such as epilepsy.

It made me think about how this would be helpful in developing our spirituality. To look at something, the sea, a hill, a flower, a person, as though we were seeing, experiencing it for the first time. Seeing a Bible, reading a passage of scripture, hearing the story of Jesus, being in Church, as though it were completed unfamiliar to us. How potentially fresh could life, our faith be to us?

This might become how I describe, explain Theological Reflection. It might help us to understand we can listen, look at the familiar, and expect to find, discover a fresh insight about God, faith or the Kingdom.

May this be our late summer blessing, Jamais vu to our searching Spirits.

Friday photo – the sea remains the sea

I posted this 6 years ago and it came to mind today as I looked to find a picture and thought which encapsulated our holiday. I love being by the sea and our tidal Tamar view and it is so often a time when I feel close to God. I am blessed to be able to take such a break.

Dear Lord,
Today I thought of the words of Vincent Van Gogh “It is true there is an ebb and flow, but the sea remains the sea.” You are the sea. Although I experience many ups and downs in my emotions and often feel great shifts and changes in my inner life, you remain the same. Your sameness is not the sameness of a rock, but the sameness of a faithful lover. Out of your love I came to life; by your love I am sustained, and to your love I am always called back.
There are days of sadness and days of joy; there are feelings of guilt and feelings of gratitude; there are moments of failure and moments of success; but all of them are embraced by your unwavering love. My only real temptation is to doubt in your love, to think of myself as beyond the reach of your love, to remove myself from the healing radiance of your love. To do these things is to move into the darkness of despair.
O Lord, sea of love and goodness, let me not fear too much the storms and winds of my daily life, and let me know that there is ebb and flow but that the sea remains the sea.
Henri Nouwen

Wondering Wednesdays – unexpected joy

My spirits are not always lifted by a forecast of rain, particularly on holiday. However, it would spoil the holiday if we gave into the weather forecasts – they are really not that accurate! On Sunday we planned to kyak. We ended up on plan b as there was a regatta where we planned to launch and were well aware there was around 50% chance of rain, and it poured. I have never been on the river in such heavy rain before and in a kayak you are really close to the water. Every rain drop looked like a diamond to me, there was a small flash of light in each one as it bounced back out of the water. It may sound a little cheesy but in the midst of reading too much polarized opinion it helped me remember that in each person there is unique beauty that I may need to be in the right place at the right time to see.

Going the Distance: when the old no longer serves

This was something we found in a small inlet out kayaking today. It was on the edge of a large traditional estate. Clearly the steps were once designed to bring in a boat, carrying provisions, fish etc. The reeds have since overgrown and we wondered if the owners even know they are there.

It got me thinking about those things in my life, my Marker Posts and Shelters, that were once helpful, even needful in life and ministry flourishing, thriving rather than surviving. I play so little golf these days compared to what I used to. Where as I might have played everyday 6 weeks a year, plus competitions. I now might only play a full 18 holes once a year. What I once found fun, recharging, no long does, other things like kayaking, cliff walking, writing, getting our garden off grid, does. It seems odd but ok to change, to let go, try new things, not be identified with what was normal.

I still need steps, access, places to reprovision, replenish, but they go up and down to different places.