A Thought for Friday

I shall be spending much of today in London at various meetings. It will be all roar and rush and I’ll probably feel like the proverbial fish out of water. (The habit tends to attract some very odd types โ€” the only people who don’t come anywhere near are usually wearing clerical collars!)

Is it possible to maintain an inner silence, a spirit of recollection, in such circumstances? My answer would be ‘yes’. Have all those years spent learning the discipline of silence perhaps begun to bear fruit? I now know that it is not exterior noise but the endless babble of interior thoughts and feelings that causes all the trouble. Cultivating interior silence isn’t easy, but I think it is necessary for both psychological and spiritual health.

This week scripture has been urging us to go out into the desert to seek Jesus. Today, however, romantic visions of a vast and starry sky, rock, sand and a luminous silence must give way to the reality of the modern desert, the urban landscape of concrete and steel, full of clamour and bustle. Is it possible to seek and find God here, among the fast-food outlets and the diesel fumes? Francis Thompson is not much read nowadays, but I cannot help recalling the concluding lines of his ‘Kingdom of God’:
. . . lo, Christ walking on the water
Not of Gennesareth, but Thames!

Today, wherever we are, is full of hope.

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8 thoughts on “A Thought for Friday”

  1. I also rather dread going into the bustle of the city these days – it is all too easy to become addicted to the sight of sheep and trees from every window.
    But the same two lines of Francis Thompson have been going round and round in my head for the last couple of days – I wonder why the synchronicity?
    At any rate, I shall be hoping and praying for a good outcome to your meetings, DV.

  2. How true regarding the “interior voice”, which can also become a “reverb chamber”, adding in the exterior babble until our heads are crammed with noise and voices and echoes of the past and present. True peace comes as God allows those voices to be stilled and silenced. Oh that God would be my “Divine sound engineer”, separating out the multiple tracks of sound in my head, and dampen down those that hinder my walk with Him.

  3. You echo my sentiments entirely here. Even on a secular level the practice of ‘grounding’ or creating your invisible ‘bubble’ is quite powerful. How much more so when we remember to invite God in! It actually has the reverse effect of dispelling barriers while protecting us.

    Your final note about ‘hope’ is so central to Advent. It is not whether hope delivers our dreams, but that Hope delivers.

    And regarding the habit you wear, Bro Duncan is devoted to you and he wears a dog collar ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thank you all for sharing your insights, and for your prayers. I was wrong about one thing: a very nice C. of E. vicar (carrying a Bible โ€” several Brownie pints there!) bounded up to us in a posh part of London and was absolutely charming.

    Our meetings were encouraging and we hope we may have good news to share soon. Please don’t stop the prayers yet.

  5. Cultivating interior silence is the best way to keep my sanity. It just took me a lifetime to understand that…
    Praying for successful meetings and meeting more charming C of E vicars ๐Ÿ™‚

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