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Appreciating Water…

2017 06p1Last month I visited Morocco. It was unseasonably hot, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees and above, rather than the anticipated 24- 30 degrees of the spring. The one thing I missed most in this dry land and searing heat was water, to freely drink from the tap.

Water is such a basic human need and yet here in the west, in its abundance and availability, we so often take it for granted, wasting & squandering it through excessive or unnecessary use, not recognising its importance and centrality in our lives.

Stilling the Soul…

We in the Western world often live such frantic lives, surrounded by the constant noise of media and society. Ours is a 24/7 daylight world, where inactivity is seemingly frowned upon and busyness is a sickness of both body and soul.
2017 05p1My life is often just too frenetic. I can be tempted by infinite choice and the desire to cram in as much as I can, seduced into believing that I am able to do everything, precariously juggling my over-activity with the acrobatics of daily living, work and relationships. So it is that this month, in my year of learning how to surrender, I have been struck by my need to surrender to stillness, looking to this old hymn for inspiration.

“Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.~
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.”

Spectacle of Spring

As winter weather warms into spring, I watch the blossom emerge on the trees: extravagantly beautiful bouquets of promise- signs of warmer weather, better days ahead and future fruitfulness.2017 04p1

Despite its spectacle, we do not see the spring blossom as pretentious, showy or ostentatious, accepting it for what it is: a natural, cyclical seasonal occurrence.
It makes us feel better- a sign that spring is just around the corner.
It gives us hope for the future ahead- summer is coming with its longer days and warmer weather.
It grounds us in the real possibility of fruitfulness for the future.

Sow the Seeds

2017 03p1Seeds are no small things…each one unique; unassuming, modest miracles of life and growth and change, each encapsulated in a small shroud like shell. Yet tough and unyielding as they are, they will fail to reach their potential if they are kept sealed in a packet or left languishing in the potting shed.

2017 02p1As I complete my reflections on the word “Dwell”, I find myself taking refuge in Psalm 91, knowing that through all the continuing uncertainties and difficulties of my life, I can find true sanctuary in God alone.

Have you noticed that there always seems to be something to contend with amidst the daily maelstrom of life? For me, there seems to have been a continuous barrage of unexpected difficulties to deal with over the last few years. Just when I think that life seems to be taking a smoother turn, another event collides with the last and there are times when it all feels completely unmanageable. Increasingly this month, with its endless cold, grey days that I don’t do well, I have felt like hiding away from it all and saying to the world “wake me up when it’s all over and safe to come out…”

This is why I have returned to the comfort of Psalm 91 with its promises of shelter, rest and refuge, safety and protection, rescue and deliverance…. because for me, it is all unmanageable on my own. It is only God who provides me with the wherewithal to cope.

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