St Bride's: Sermons

Be still and know

©2002 Jim Byrne
Loch Linnhe
© 2002 Jim Byrne
The memory of one day of my holiday in Northern Scotland sticks firmly in my mind. On a sparkling sunny morning we drove south from Fort William along the edge of Loch Linnhe and took the ferry across the loch from Gorran to Ardgour and then turned north again. The water was clear and still and beyond it to the south we could see the mass of Ben Nevis rising behind Fort William. It was a place at once remote and peaceful.

As we sat and picnicked beside the loch we watched the surface of the water, usually disturbed by the breeze but occasionally completely still, so that the hills were reflected in it. It became in my mind a picture of what our lives are like - most of the time disturbed with the rush and busyness of daily living. But sometimes we begin to wonder if we are living life as we should be, and it is then that we need to pause and take stock.

In the story of Adam and Eve, God's first question to them is "Where are you?" It is a simple but devastating Question which we can each ask of ourselves. "What stage have I reached in my life? Do I need to make changes or move on, emotionally or spiritually? What needs to happen next?"

Taking time to stop, be still and take stock is vital for inner health and wellbeing. Every so often it is good to pause and ?go up into the mountains? and when we do allow the surface of our lives to become still, we can begin to look deep. "Where are you?" God's question may be daunting and challenging, but it also helps us to open up our lives to his healing and refreshing influence. Such moments of stillness and reflection are precious, because as the poet Wordsworth said:-

In such moments there is life
And food for future years.
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