Saturday, 3 October 2009
A little closing of the eyes and the months have gone
I cannot believe that it is now October. It is equally difficult to accept that I have not written this blog since May. But as I think about it, May does seem a very long way off. Since then I have planned dispatched and received back five groups of pilgrims. Not quite true; I took the last group to Stansted airport for the flight to Madrid and the train on this morning. With the work of getting it all together for the leaders of the groups and the various bookings as well as a busy parish to serve, it has been busy all summer. I have been reading Rebecca Scott's blog as well as Johnnie Walker's blog over the summer. Each time I read them they make me feel a number of things. Firstly, disappointment when they have not added to their pages. This becomes deep guilt as I have not added anything to mine for such a long time. That is supposing that anyone is reading it? Secondly they have made me wish that I could drop everything and go off and walk the Camino north from Madrid and the route to Oviedo that Rebecca has spoken off so delightfully. I do not think that I will be able to do either this year or even have the funds. So it is time to hunker down for the winter. In the last post I promised that I would begin to develop a theology that revolved around and discussed pilgrimage. It seems to me me that the old picture of dial up connections vs broadband is helpful in getting so sort of handle on the pilgrim experience. Let me explain! Do you remember when computers became a household item. They gave us dial-up. It took forever, and for most of us it meant that we could either speak to our friends on the phone or we could surf the net. It was slow and very limiting. Along came broadband. It means that I can post this, my wife can talk to her friends. With the aid of a network my children can be on Facebook or researching for their homework, all at the same time. A large number of things are going on across a broad spectrum. It maybe that I am not fully aware of all that is going on, but that does not mean that it is not happening. The world of the rational establishment tells that the physical is all that there is. If you cannot taste, feel, touch, measure,see or hear then it does not exist. This is the narrow world of the dial up. It is hedged by on one side empirical science and on the other what is called rational thought. This is a very narrow world that limits me to the here and now. Things however are much bigger than that. Even in its own terms it is limited. There is no room for love or duty or emotional distress. All these are not measurable and are completely subjective. They exist outside measurement because we know them, we experience them with a different sense, which we call the heart. God's world is a broadband experience. There is much out there going on there of which we are completely unaware.Because I am unaware does not mean that it does not exist. On pilgrimage through those long hours, we begin to still the noise of busy life and we begin to hear traces of these other things that are going on. At this point we have choice. Do we delve deeper into these small sounds or do we just ignore them as white sound that has no meaning. My experience is that it is not white noise but rather the gate of heaven. We can go into a deeper experience and that this deeper experience is God.