Vicar Writes

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27 October 2019 | Vicar Writes

In quietness, I imagine a place where…

By Terry Wong

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…”  Ephesians 3:20

One can draw away from the world. For just a while (Mark 6:31). Being apart, he now sees clearly how incongruent and self-destructive modern life has become. Our early fathers used to see the world as shipwrecked, where one needed to swim for his life. Not towards the world but away from. For many of us, we drift compliantly, letting the tides take us deeper into spiritual wreckage.

One can be in solitude. He pulls away from the demands of self amongst others. He takes a respite from the need to be loved, thought well of and praised. He walks off the stage, out of the limelight. In the audience of One, he begins to see himself as he truly is. He gets a right perspective of issues, people etc. He comes to his senses (Luke 15:17).

One can meditate. A few sentences of Scripture at a time. While there is a place for reading long passages of Scripture, pausing and going deep can only be experienced when one is not in a hurry. It is not about analysing Scripture. Why was that said? When was that said? What was said? There is a time for inductive Bible Study, but not in this place. One asks instead, what is God saying to me today through His Word?  

One can read. Writings that matter. Those that feed the soul. Planting seeds that seem to be ever growing in our interior world. Where words and ideas are not highlighted in pages, but inside of us. Captured forever as inner wisdom which continues to guide us through life. Shaping our intuitions and instincts. Some precious words are from the dead, our "absent brethren.” Harder to read and grasp, they write in un-modern ways which we are less accustomed to. Like all things of worth, it takes effort to understand. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  

One can grow compassion for others. Solitude breeds compassionate solidarity. For when one sees himself as he truly is, he refrains from doing “life-reading” of others. This is the peril of judging, where in our minds we play god (or the devil?) and categorise people into the good and the very good, the bad and the very bad. When we allow God to deal with the log in our eyes, we have no view left for the speck in others (Matt 7:3). Instead, we accept others as Christ has accepted us. We love, we feel, we “com-passio” - we suffer along side (com: along, passio: suffer).

One realises that apart from Christ, one can do nothing (John 15:5). This is a daily discovery that comes through being more conscious of our being than doing. Being in the presence of God, praying and relying in Him. His Spirit shapes our being and in turn, our lives become life-giving. We bring the presence of God into the lives of others. We stop discouraging others, making them cower in fear. We encourage (embolden) them instead into the fulness of their destiny in God.    

I will continue to imagine aka to pray, for such a place for me, for you, for us.