#BIGRead14: Fullness of Life (including @QuietGardens)

Image Source: Worship Cloud
Image Source: Worship Cloud

As we prepare for ‘Lent proper’ – today’s poem from Stephen Cherry is short, and focused on a life full of positive thoughts and actions – which first made me think of Jesus calling us to ‘live life to the full‘, and then how often I overfill my life, and therefore need reminding of W.H.Auden’s poem:

W. H. Davies: Leisure

WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

A search for ‘time to stand and stare’ on Wikipedia led to The Quiet Garden Trust, a “a non-profit organisation which encourages the provision of Quiet Gardens where people can set aside time for contemplation, prayer and renewal”… I think these are the closest to me – but they are all around the world.

I was then reminded of #3goodthings – and that I was recently up in the attic looking for something, and found a diary from a few years ago where I drew at least three things I was thankful for each day… and it really did help my state of mind… whether to do this oneline… I do like the paper/drawing aspect of this, especially as I’m cutting down on screens late at night, and is often the last thing to do…


#AdventBookClub: Day 19: Taking Time and Paying Attention

Looking back at some of the responses to Brian’s #advent20, lots of ‘selfies’ from people, and also this poem (Ann Lewin, Reflection):

God’s work of art.
That’s me?
Then beauty must lie
In the eye of the
I feel more like
One of those statues
Michelangelo left
Half emerging
From the marble block;
Full of potential,
On the verge of life,
But prisoned still
By circumstance and

Yet part of me is free –
And you are still creating,
Bringing to life
The promise that is there.
Sometimes by
Hammer blows
Which jar my being,
Sometimes by
Tender strokes half felt
Which waken me to

Go on, Lord.
Love me into wholeness.
Set me free
To share with you
In your creative joy;
To laugh with you
At your delight
In me,
Your work of art.’

Get me, checking out poetry – that bodes well for #bigread14. Today’s challenge from Brian – we’re too busy being busy:

Have a wander. And pay attention to something a child is noticing. It doesn’t have to be your child. We all see plenty of children being dragged by their parents past things they want to stop and look at. Watch for what they see, and see it yourself with fresh eyes

My brain is thinking – maybe when I’ve had some sleep!!

Today or tomorrow I need to record John 1:1-14, ready for @online carols – so I love that it’s today’s verse for Ron Glusenkamp, with verse 1 that he always quotes at weddings, because it’s a social gathering… and it always reminds me of David Wilkinson saying “God is a communicating God, he doesn’t have to be persuaded to communicate with us – he gave us his Word.”

Maggi returns us to the need to look for silent spaces, and echoes from Brian above the need to slow down and pay attention to what it around us, and to discover God in those listening spaces. Referring us back to Genesis 18, we head about the visit of the angels … who, unlike us these days, were not in a hurry to get the next task done, but took time to be with one another, rather than ‘message done’ and move on.. and that made lunch today very enjoyable – yes it was ‘fast lunch’, but just ‘being’:

lunchOh, and as Allan’s post says – taking time before pressing ‘send’ – I’d say on Tweets, Facebook, whatever…