I have been pondering what I would do for my first post for 2014. Then I read Frederick Buechner’s entry for January the 1st, in his book “Listening to your life”…
“I discovered that if you really keep your eye peeled to it and your ears open, if you really pay attention to it, even such a limited life as the one I was living on Rupert Mountain opened up onto extraordinary vistas. Taking your children to school and kissing your wife goodbye. Eating lunch with a friend. Trying to do a decent day’s work. Hearing the rain patter against the window. There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize him or not recognise him, but all the more fascinating because of that, all the more compelling and hauntingly… If I were called apon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and as a preacher, it would be something like this; listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
I have just spent some of my holidays in Yallingup, a beautiful coastal area in the south west of Western Australia. This photo was taken at sunset across the hills to the sea.
By listening to our life, we find God. In every moment of every day God is part of all that is real in the world. A world that is an amazing, miraculous place, even with all its pain and darkness.
When I looked at this photo I am reminded of a poem by William Wordsworth, called “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey”. Below is a part of it ….
For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear,–both what they half create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.
A good place to start 2014!