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And today’s word is… 2 March 2017

Posted by Dr Moose in Faith, Lent, Life.
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I was worried about what I might write about today. I like to think that I don’t ‘do’ worry, but I’m not immune to it, just very fortunate (blest, if you will) to be in a role and place that feels normal, natural and simply right. The practical upshot of which is a rather low level of stress, of which worry and anxiety have been such strong components in the past.

That doesn’t take away the fact that today has to run to quite a tight timetable. In the temporary absence of my wife I have become sole parent/taxi-driver, as well as seeking to continue to function as Chaplain.

As I walked round the local supermarket yesterday evening, struggling for inspiration for the food (& feeling as if bottles of wine kept appearing in my line of sight without provocation – not good when I’m abstaining from alcohol for Lent!) there was that question: “What is my word for tomorrow’s blog?”

As I woke this morning, anticipating my younger daughter’s rather enthusiastic or odd choice of an alarm at 6am (which does nothing discernible to prepare her for the day) were the questions “What is my word for today’s blog? When will I be able to write it?”

Even as I sat diligently at Morning Prayer (for which I arrived in plenty of time despite the morning traffic and the need to visit the other campus first), in the back of my mind, in every psalm, in every reading, in every prayer, was that awareness, “What is my word for today’s blog?”

hanging-lampThe answer came in an unexpected low-buzzing as the sunlight streamed into the prayer room, diced and sliced by vertical blinds. It literally hit me as the lights came on when I flicked the switch. The word is surprise.

Surprise from yesterday in that someone actually came for Ashing and Holy Communion yesterday (after I’d written and posted the blog). Surprise at how incredibly open and interested the Muslim student users of the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy have been about pancakes, and ash crosses, and Lent. Surprise at the ease of travel and of simply getting things done in my travel and morning duties. Surprise in spotting the fat, low-droning bumble bee in the the sunlight of the prayer room window. Surprise at the quality of the electric light in the windowless portion of the prayer room. (Have the facilities team really managed to acquire the ‘daylight’ tubes that were suggested to me as a way to make the place a better work environment?)

It’s simple basic stuff, of course. But in the midst of all the thought, question and activity of daily life, in all the looking, I had failed to see. There are always times to look, a need to seek, but how often do I need to remember that it’s not just about me actively looking, but about what comes to me? In Christian understanding perhaps the most important theological revelation of them all is that the divine, the eternal, the creator and sustainer of all, doesn’t stand far off, regarding the world with anger and sorrow, metaphorical arms crossed and brow furrowed in displeasure, but in Jesus takes flesh and walks among us, beside us, and, post-Resurrection by the Holy Spirit, within us. The God who surprises us.

I needed the reminder I think (and wouldn’t mind the nice surprise of an unexpected cash-injection, but that’s not quite the point!)

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