two directions: looking forward…

image2015 dawns…although I read somewhere yesterday that 1% of the year is already gone!

New challenges are needed to focus on, to ensure that the year doesn’t just drift by. Over the last few weeks I became especially aware of this as I realised how quickly the school year passes, and how I actively wish for this to happen.

A thought that has been with me for a while now is the image of a river – always changing, yet ever present. I guess that’s what life in a school is like. A continuous flow of children moving through the institution…teachers change occasionally, the uniform stays the same…teaching the same lessons to different pupils…that kind of thing. It’s easy to allow this process to happen to you, and to let time drift by without being present in the moment, enjoying the now and not longing after the not yet.

That’s why I set these challenges, to give me things to aim towards, yes, but also to work on here and now as I seek to continue to grow as a human being.

So, here we go, 2015’s challenges:
1) physical – to run a 10k race (Exeter 10k booked for March 22nd) and to aim towards longer distances. To run more with friends and to enjoy the experience of space this gives me for my mind and my soul.
2) spiritual – to continue in developing the Bible reading habit I worked on this past year, and to add to it a regular rhythm of prayer. I’ve chosen to use a Bible reading plan from the YouVersion Bible app which has given me the chance to do this in community with other friends. The Simple Way’s wonderful Book of Common Prayer provides a fantastic liturgical framework for creating space for quiet and reflection. I’ve really struggled to find words and space to pray, and I feel this is something that I’ve missed greatly in recent years.
3) mental – back on the reading vibe… I want to read more poetry (starting with Harry Baker’s brilliant ‘the Sunshine Kid’). I’d also love to do a book exchange of some kind where I swap a book I love with someone else who lends me a book they love. If anyone’s up for this, do let me know in the comments and we can work something out. It’d be great to read something ‘big’ too, like a serious piece of deep writing, again, recommendations below would be happily and gratefully received.

I’m going to keep it simple and focus on these three areas. They’re pretty big commitments all in all, and hopefully will give me plenty to chew on as 2015 meanders past.

Let me end with a blessing for you and those close to you…

May you know the depth of love that is found in being known. May you know that as each day races by, the great Everpresent is with you in all you do. May you know uncertainty, and the great freedom that brings. May you know comfort and joy in all circumstances. May this be a year full of life, and all that life brings.

Love and peace.

2 thoughts on “two directions: looking forward…

  1. The image of the river has been coming to me to. Towards the end of Thomas Merton’s book Raids on the Unspeakable he talks about the ‘Heraklitean river which is never crossed twice.’ He goes on:
    ‘When the poet puts his foot in that ever-flowing river, poetry itself is born out of the flashing water. In that unique instant, the truth is manifest to all who are able to receive it.
    No one can come near the river unless he walks on his own feet. he cannot come there carried in a vehicle.
    No one can enter the river wearing the garments of public and collective ideas He must feel the water on his skin. He must know that immediacty is for naked minds only, and for the innocent.’

    I find the phrase ‘public and collective ideas’ very challenging. I guess it was what St Paul was on about when he said ‘work out your own salvation . . And there is a Jewish proverb which says that there are many doors to heaven, and one of them has your name on. That is the only one by which you can enter.’

    1. Hi Kaydee!
      Thanks for popping in and commenting.

      The Merton quote is great – about owning ones own spirituality, and not relying on that of others. I do, however, value immensely communal faith much more than I ever have – although stangely, I don’t attend church regularly any longer.

      Best wishes,
      M

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