This morning had a completely different rhythm to it to most of my Tuesdays. With the boys both home from uni and school respectively, there was no alarm clock to go off because we all had to be somewhere at a specific time to follow a day full of clock-watching and fixed schedules.
Birdsong and sunlight were what woke me. I made a cup of coffee, perused the many unread books in my study, picked one and headed back to be for a real “quiet” time. I smiled at the opening paragraph of the introduction to David Adam’s “The Open Gate” for the grace of God was tangible in the midst of our changed circumstances:
As long as we are alive, we are on the move. To come static is to stagnate and die. It is necessary for all living things to move and grow and change. Life is meant to be an adventure; change is a gift that we have to learn to use aright.
In Celtic folk-tales a curse that could happen to a person was to enter a field and not be able to get back out of it. To be stuck in that place for ever. It was seen as a definite curse to be unable to venture or to change.
Yet we all know this experience in some small way; we get ourselves stuck in routines and habits that can act as shackles. We all refuse to open our eyes to the vision that is before us; too often we select only what we want to see.
The open gate is the opposite to this. It is the invitation to adventure and to grow, the call to be among the living and the vital elements of the world. The open gate is the call to explore new areas of yourself and the world around you. It is the challenge to come and discover that the world and ourselves are filled with mystery and with the glory of God. It is the ever present call to become pilgrims for the love of God, to take part in a romance that will enrich our hearts and our lives.
The open gate is the choice that God is always placing before us. It is a sign of the opportunity that is ours. It is to do with our basic freedom; we can choose to go that way or to ignore it and go along other paths.
We should look upon the open gate as a way to extend ourselves and our vision. Here we can see further and reach beyond where we have been before. It may take a great deal of discipline to get off the old familiar track and to break with old habits, but in return it offers the excitement of new ground and new vistas.
What we have to learn is to recognise when an open gate has been presented to us.David Adam
May we see the open gates that present themselves in this moment.
May we recognise the opportunities to be quiet, to discover, to grow.
May we use the gift of change aright.
Yours in Christ