River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Musings from the Methodist Manse

July 2001

Thoughts for July

Dear Friends,

When in your life do you find you are most awake?

When are you least awake?

Are you awake to yourself, to the self you are in the deepest parts of your being?

Are you awake to God, to the presence of Mystery in your life that is real, but somehow beyond explaining?

Are you awake to other people, especially to their losses, their sufferings?

Are you awake to the possibility of being happy?

These are questions that I found staring back at me from the pages of a book called "Dance of the Spirit", by Maria Harris. It is about the kind of life, that makes us more aware of ourselves, of others and of the Mystery that we call God.

I am at my most creative first thing in a morning, but I am at my most philosophical last thing at night. My mind is hopelessly lethargic in the afternoon and finds practical things much more appealing. I am much more of a night owl, than part of the dawn chorus (although with two small children, I often have to be both!) and I know how much more vivid the world around me is, when I am really awake.

How often we settle for being half awake and only partly aware. How quickly we give up on the dreams that we have, when they seem out of reach. How easily we fall into routines and timetables that become rigid ways of living our lives and from which we long to break free. We settle for less than happiness, or for a happiness that is shallow, because we feel and fear that real happiness will for ever elude us. And how special those moments when we are completely happy and when we believe that nothing will destroy the moment or end the feeling.

Are you awake to the possibility of being happy?

The happiness that God offers to us is not fleeting. It is not solely a feeling of wellbeing. It is something far more lasting and precious. It starts with our senses: to feel, touch, see, hear and taste the world we live in. To move with gentle exploration through the wonders of creation and to sense more deeply the leaf or the shell, the bird or the baby, the music or the painting. The awakening to happiness begins with an awakening to wonder and awe. It is unhurried and lingers expecting something deeper to be revealed or discovered. Jesus promised his disciples joy and abundant life. To claim the gift we need to awaken to each moment and experience. We need to take off the shoes of cynicism and pride, for this is holy ground. Wake up and be happy, God has plenty still to show you.

Every Blessing

Revd Jackie Goddard

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