I have just returned from an amazingly relaxing time in Cornwall with some good friends. I had some plans for things to do, but actually when I got there found myself to be pretty exhausted and simply happy to be in a good place with good friends.
I spent a lot of time looking out of the window … the view in the photo shows why. I still find I can endlessly watch the sea and become immersed in its movement, as I regularly did as I was growing up in Weymouth. I find even now that I can easily lose myself to the extent of not hearing others when we they talk to me, something that Sarah often teases me over! Clearly, for me, proximity to the sea is something like a thin place.
This time while in Cornwall I was reminded of these words from Rob Bell: (thanks Graham)
Walk, don’t run.
Walk, don’t run. Slow down, breathe
deeply, and open your eyes because there’s
a whole world right here within this one. The
bush doesn’t suddenly catch on fire, it’s been
burning the whole time. Moses is simply moving
slowly enough to see it. And when he
does, he takes off his sandals. Not because
the ground has suddenly become holy, but
because he’s just now becoming aware that
the ground has been holy the whole time.
Efficiency is not God’s highest goal for your life,
neither is busyness,
or how many things you can get done in one day,
or even success.
which leads to seeing-
now that’s something.
That’s the invitation for every one of us today
and every day, in every conversation, interaction,
event, and moment: to walk, not run. And in doing
so, to see a whole world right here within this one.
Walking and seeing a whole world, slowing down enough so that I can see that the ground
I walk on is holy is amazingly easy to do in a place like Cornwall, with friends, while resting and gazing at amazing scenery and beautiful sunsets.
But back in Gillingham it is harder.
The ground here is no less holy than that bathed in the glorious colour of a sunset. It’s no less Godly because it’s harshness is sometimes painful to the eye. Maybe we, I, simply don’t always acknowledge the holiness of the paving slabs because I don’t slow down enough to see. It may not be a thin place, but it is a holy place, holy ground.
I guess my prayer needs to be something like …. ‘Lord, teach me to walk, so that I may see.’