We used to sing The Rhythm of Life in one of the choirs I once belonged to. It was an easy start yet as we went on it became increasingly difficult keeping up with the pace and rhythm as it got faster and faster.
This morning I drove out to a friend's church through the
autumnal glory of the Buckinghamshire countryside on a sunny day. This
time of year the leaves are dying and as they do so give us a riot of colour; a
final burst of glory before dropping to the ground. So, I found myself reflecting
on this 'rhythm' of life.
I did that with even greater intent because I was meeting up
with a minister friend on her last day on the 'job'. Today she leaves her
church after a faithful ministry and to 'celebrate' this moment two of us
shared a meal with her in the beautiful church hall which acts as a splendid
community cafe once a week. It was an 'ending' and yet, as she leaves,
the church community she has served so well will go on into another phase of
its corporate life, even as she enters a new chapter of hers. There's
rhythm all around us.
Such reflecting was made even deeper as I listened to the car
radio en route only to hear of a 100-year-old lady who got married yesterday to
a bridegroom in his seventies. The lady walked down the aisle to the Abba
song Dancing Queen! At a time when most people might be thinking of endings here
are a couple just beginning!
In a way I think of this time of year, autumn, not so much in
terms of ending but resting. The trees around us have come into bud and
as the length of each day of spring and early summer grew longer so they
blossomed and flourished. For a long time these leaves remained green and
soaked up valuable sunshine, feeding the trees on which they sat.
And now, after a riot of colour announcing their farewell,
these same leaves fall to the ground and it’s as if the spinneys, copses and
forests are beginning their long annual 'rest'. It's a rhythm which has
been going on successfully and constantly for centuries and, although true biologists
will be tearing their hair out reading such an unscientific description, I
believe nature is a good teacher.
The rhythm of life and faith can never just be about
blossoming and flourishing. We need those reflective seasons when we
think it through, ponder it afresh, take a step back and 'rest'. Spring
will come again but for now autumn is bidding.
'Rhythm' - it's a hard word to spell and perhaps an even
harder idea to practise . Yet maybe, if we get better at the 'down
time', the rhythm of life will teach us that 'autumn' moments are truly
valuable and in the wider scheme of things will help us bear Spring blossom and
Blog holiday next week!
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