This week has mostly been holiday. It felt odd taking holiday Wednesday to Wednesday but who knows what normal looks like anymore? This weeks insights focus around the theme of “wellness”. January is the time that we create hopes and dreams of what we could be. Often, in the moment, we forget who we are and where we have come from as we idealise what could be.
All of my three insights this week focus on being the “best” you, you can be while also grounding us in the reality that, at times, life is hard.
Something I’ve read
I am going to be a little biased this week and say one of the best things I read came from my lovely wife. In her honest and open reflections Ash reflected upon the difficulties that we can sometimes face and the need for peace.
I will not spoil her wonderful words any more but simply offer a link to her blog post:
Something I’ve listened too
This week I listened to two things which I found helpful and I will offer both as a way for you to learn and reflect. The first was a conversation between Nicky Gumble and Timothy Keller, two influential Christian leaders.
The conversation brushed over many topics but at its heart were Timothy Keller’s grappling with faith, the resurrection and his cancer diagnosis. Keller offers poignant reflections about how faith can change and develop even when facing the darkest of moments and, as he spoke, I was drawn back to C.S. Lewis’ short book, A grief observed*. Lewis, facing a difficult loss, offers similar reflections on faith and doubt at moments of darkness but both point to the light of the resurrection and the peace that it can offer.
The second conversation I listened too was the Hypermobility podcast, a recommendation from a member of our parish who suffers from EDS. This podcast offers real, and practical, advice for those who suffer from Hypermobility Disorders on how to enable conversations around pain.
Early on in the conversation one of the hosts helpfully reframes how a person with EDS could speak about their pain in terms of EDS rather than simply in terms of pain and what others may see as unnecessary “complaining”. I offer this podcast both for those who suffer from, or know someone who suffer from, hyper mobility disorder but also for us all to help gain insight on what it is like to suffer from such pain and how we can better help those who do.
An interesting Idea
This week, as I prepared to preach, I reflected on our reading from the Old Testament. The story of Samuel’s call is one which sits close to my heart and in it there is a wonderful moment in which Samuel says to God “speak Lord, your servant is listening.” In the depths of night, when Samuel did not know what was going on, he trusted that God would speak to him and he was eager to listen.
As I have pondered what it means to face different challenges and find hope I was caught by the idea that God can offer us peace if only we listen.
So, this week, why not find a quiet space and pray “Speak Lord, you servant is listening,” and hopefully God will speak words of peace to you.
A prayer for peace from the Book of Common Prayer
Lord God, all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works come from you. Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey your commandments. Defend us also from the fear of our enemies that we may live in peace and quietness, through the merits of Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
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