Today’s #lentphotos theme is Wisdom .. and I just love this picture from @goannatree at #GB11:
Today’s thoughts about Eustace becoming a dragon, because he has spent time amongst dragonish things, and the verses of Proverbs 12:26 which encourage us to be wise in who we choose as our friends are both good reminders. If you’ve met me you’ll know that I’m pretty friendly, and I got into all chats expecting that we’ll get on well, etc. Some friendships stand the test of time more than others, and some of my thinking is defined by coaching training – be careful in how much time you spend with those who drain you. If people are down, they can bring you down with them (especially if you have a tendency to get ‘down’) … but how does that fit with the message to care for all of those around us – including those who might otherwise be hard to love? Difficult one … and I think the verses are often used to encourage us to stick to our Christian ‘cliques’, and e.g. Christian music, etc. rather than being part of the world (though not of the world … or as I read recently – being distinctive rather than separated!) – a big topic – one that until yesterday I thought I’d be talking about on Sunday on The Big Questions – but that particular story was dropped … suspect the Pope may have had something to do with that!
“Jesus highly valued his friends and put time and effort into his relationships. We need to create the lives, and the family lives, that we want, and not what has been inflicted or creeps up on us.”
I like the idea of having screen-free time (I do it regularly – which always confuses people when they try and get hold of me at the last minute), and the idea of putting time into relationships, but I don’t see the that lack of screen time will change the other – a lot of my time building relationships comes through the screen – whether arranging to meet, or sharing photos, etc. with my friends/family who live a long way away (I don’t have kids to worry about mind you, and currently writing a book on kids/the internet – fascinating – and encouraging to see how much good is coming out of some of the things they do online.)
You remember that joke …
Sunday School: “What’s this?”
Child: “Well it looks like an elephant but I know the answer should be Jesus”
Today Brian encourages us to be listening out for the questions – and then taking the time to listen out for answers too:
Good questions form a crucial part of our spiritual development. But let’s not always look for the answer we think is ‘right’, or necessarily ‘spiritual’. Sometimes there’s no answer at all, course – the question is all we need. And often, if one arrives, the answer that rings true is much simpler and more practical than we might expect. Something that was there, before our eyes, from the start. An answer, an insight, a realisation that leaves us with that curious feeling that we have known it all along; that we have simply rememberedsomething deeper down about who we are, and how we can live, and where we are going.