You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
You may wonder why I came up with this rather strange name for a Christian devotional blog spot. The answer is really quite simple. I often imagine myself sitting beside a river, perhaps in the evening with a fishing line in the water, though I have an arrangement with the fish that if I don’t bother them they won’t bother me.
At its source the river is a spring of pure water. On its way downstream it chatters and bustles over the stones in its headlong rush to get to the sea, its ultimate destination. By the time it has reached my spot it has become much lazier meandering between the reed beds forming pools along the way. Later, of course it will widen and finally merge with the sea, losing its identity altogether.
Life is like that river in many ways. We come into this world as a pure spring of water, naked and innocent. When we were young we all had visions as to how we were going to change the world and so we grasped at every opportunity to climb the slippery ladder to success, acquiring money and material wealth along the way; chattering and bustling in the headlong rush, trampling on anyone who gets in our way. But as I sit here with the sea, figuratively the end of my life, just a few miles downstream, I realise that all that so called wealth is as nothing for I cannot take it with me when I leave this mortal life.
Jesus reminded his listeners of this in what we know as the Sermon on the Mount: 19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
And so I take this opportunity to think about these things. I take my inspiration from the fact that more than 400 years ago St Ignatius of Loyola proposed that we should all reflect in a prayerful manner on the events of the day to see where God has been present and to ask what God is saying to us through the feelings we have experienced. It is significant that one of his central themes was that gratitude should be the foundation of our relationship with God. I am using this technique which has been called the Daily Examen for a prayerful reflection of my past life.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time work for a number of years