Quietness and Thanksgiving

Published on Thursday 26 March 2020

How are you doing? Here at the Rectory we are beginning to feel as though we are settling into the new normal. Things are a bit less busy; but that makes the space to be more aware of the fear and grief. I have decided that I am only going to listen to one morning and one evening news bulletin a day; each for only an hour. Turning the radio off has made me appreciate the quiteness of the current time. I can hear the birds sing even in the house.

In 1 Thessalonians 5.18 Paul says 'give thanks in all circumstances'. It might feel very strange to give thanks in these circumstances but focusing on what we can give thanks for is one of the best cures for worry. A habit of thankfulness helps us to notice and enjoy the good things that God gives us now and to let go of worrying about things that might happen in the future which we have no control over. It is a sad thing to reach the end of ones life and realise that we missed all the good things that were there because we were always worrying about what might be.

One traditional spiritual discipline that has fallen out of fashion is counting our blessings. When you pray at the end of the day think of ten things to give thanks to God for. Try and find ten and don't worry if they seem small or trivial, just give thanks. After a few nights you will notice that you are going through the day looking for things to give thanks for. This is an excellent habit.

The present is the only place where we can meet God, because it is the only place we are. Learning to give thanks for what is now helps us be present and teaches us to recognise God's presence with us, God's grace to us and to trust in the one who is, who was and who always will be.

I attach a reading of a poem about the current situation called 'Lockdown' by Richard Hendrick and something rather less serious that might make you chuckle.

With much love

Mandy


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