Dull as Ditchwater

Have you ever looked at ditchwater, I mean really looked? In this part of Herefordshire it’s usually a lovely warm rust colour, tinged with streaks of blue, green and purple where tractor oil has seeped into it. When the sun is out (as happens occasionally) it shimmers, and a few late insects hop and glide across the surface. It is a whole world in a little, a miniature ocean with tiny currents and cross-currents, microscopic life-forms and and a green, green tangle of weeds and grasses along its banks. In short, it isn’t dull at all. I’m tempted to say that much of what we find dull in life isn’t really dull, it merely appears so because we don’t actually see what is before us, don’t want to give it time or attention.

For a Christian, prayer is a way of opening our eyes to God and so to all creation. It is a way of seeing, and seeing whole, but it takes time and energy — time and energy we are sometimes reluctant to give. If today you are tempted to neglect prayer on the grounds that you find it dull and unrewarding, go and look at some ditchwater.

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