There are times and seasons to everything, moments to wait and moments to act. Just now — in this couple of weeks just beginning — is an important time to make new beginnings, but in particular to make a choice about the path we want to take. It's a time rather like Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken; we stand in the wood wondering which path to follow, and the one we choose in this present time will make all the difference. Sometimes what we do doesn't matter all that much, but in the neck of the woods we're in right now, our choices will have consequences — and consequences have looong tails! It's important to make it count for healing and hope.
So this is a good time — I mean, whenever isn't, but it's especially right just now — to ask yourself these questions:
- What kind of world do I want to create?
- What action from me will help build that kind of world?
- What should the priorities be for humanity at this present time?
- What kind of person would I like to be?
- What do I need to work on to achieve that?
- What are the life seeds I should be sowing to extend the reach of Christ — goodness, kindness, shalom, hope, justice, love, healing?
- Breathe. Take time to sit quietly, either with your eyes closed or looking at something spacious and magnificent like the sky or the sea, and breathe. Obviously we all breathe or we'd be dead, but I'm talking about imagining your heart is like a lung, and allowing the breath of life to flow quietly in to nourish your heart; or thinking of how animals and young children breathe, just letting the breath come in down to their bellies — not high, anxious chest-breathing, but quiet relaxed belly breathing. This isn't dramatic breathing, where everyone can hear it sucked in through your nose like a mighty rushing wind and exhaled with a spectacular AAAAH!! That's just pointless pantomime. I'm talking about something infinitely quiet and simple, allowing the breath to fill you, allowing it to leave. Letting God's Holy Spirit re-fill you as Adam, as Eve, as a new creation, the infilling and topping up of life ever new.
- Make an altar. It can be anywhere: a windowsill, a shelf, a mantelpiece; and it can be small if you don't have much space. On you altar, put something intentional — a nightlight perhaps (in a jar so you don't inadvertently set something on fire), a holy or beautiful picture you printed off from the internet and stuck on a piece of card, a pebble that caught your eye, a flower, a leaf. Write down your vision and hopes and dreams for life on earth, for the role of humanity within that, and for the part you would like to play (however small; this is about the nature not the size of your offering), fold up the paper where you've written it down and place it on your altar as a formal prayer.