Archive for May, 2012

May 15, 2012

Tranquility

Looking up ‘Tranquility’ in the thesaurus produces a string of:

Peace
….peacefulness
……..restfulness
….repose
calm
….calmness
……..quiet
….quietness
stillness.

Even something about reading those words produces a certain soporific effect.

The picture above I took at Garrettstown on a day off last Saturday. Without such special days, times with my beautiful (and incredibly patient) wife and our two wonderful boys I don’t think I would last very long in parish ministry.  We all need times of peace, days of fun, moments of joy and places to escape to.

We spent about six or seven hours on the beach but it felt like no time at all.  It wasn’t very warm, there was a chill in the air from the north east, but we built an enormous sand castle, which later became an alien space craft and a rowing boat (of sorts).  We gathered driftwood and made a fire on which we cooked sausages and rashers.  Breathing in the fresh sea air all day meant that we all slept very well that night and I was ready in body, mind and spirit for the day and week ahead, (something which unfortunately doesn’t always happen).

As I look at the photo now I am reminded of those old and familiar words that long ago we used to sing in church:

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever:
for our rock of ages is the Lord.

(Isaiah 26:3-4)

May 14, 2012

Lenticular Cloud

This is not the best example that I have seen pictures of, but it is the only Lenticular (lens-shaped) cloud I have seen in real life.  Have a look at this Wikipedia article for more info., sometimes they are even mistaken for U.F.O’s!

He loads the clouds with moisture,
and they flash with his lightning.
The clouds churn about at his direction.
They do whatever he commands throughout the earth.

Job 37:11-12

(Larger version of photo on Flickr here.)

May 10, 2012

Beauty is everywhere … if you are looking for it.

The light has been interesting today, overcast yet bright and with lots of contrast.  I took the two pictures below during a stroll around the garden after lunch earlier today.

.

Since becoming interested in photography again over the past number of years I have gradually developed the habit of looking for photo opportunities everywhere.  I notice all sorts of things that previously I would hardly have paid attention to, such as the way the clouds are forming over the field across the road, the warmth of the light early in the morning and again just before sunset , the look on a child’s face when they are given an ice cream, (not to mention the supposedly more mundane things such as flowers, insects, birds and even plain and simple leaves).

.

All these things and more have taken on a new and profound fascination – beauty is everywhere if you are looking for it.

(link to photos on Flickr here and here)

May 5, 2012

Fading away

As I looked at this photo taken yesterday at Inchydoney I was reminded of the verse:

“People are like grass;
their beauty is like a flower in the field.
The grass withers and the flower fades…”

At times it seems that all around us are reminders of the transient and fragile nature of life.  To see deteriorating health in those that were once so strong, whether people or animals, can be a difficult thing to have to deal with. I never cease to be in awe of those who face death with both great courage and deep peace. I wonder how I would react if I was addressed with that awful doctor’s euphemism, “I think you should get your affairs in order”?  I’d like to think it would be a spiritual experience and maybe it would, but I’m sure too that I would scrape and rebound through each of the  ‘the five stages’, Denial & Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and perhaps (God willing) finally Acceptance.

The destination is perhaps what shapes the journey most of all. If I were an atheist I would ponder the dissolution of myself to nothing, if I were an agnostic I simply wouldn’t know what to think, but as one who stumbles, trips and hobbles after the Lord Jesus, I know that He is the way, the truth and the life.

The verse I quoted at the beginning is from 1 Peter 1:24.  The verse that goes before it reads:

For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.

Yes this life is fleetingly fragile, but new life in God, that is something different altogether.  Perhaps we don’t fade away after all and for the one who puts their faith and trust in Christ, death is not just an ending, but a new beginning.