Tag Archives: pansies

Thoughts on Palm Sunday , or how I didn’t become a chaplain.

http://www.gardendesign.com/ideas/art-botany-les-fleurs-animes  The Pansy from J J Grandeville's The Flowers Personified 1847

The Pansy  from J J Grandville’s The Flowers Personified 1847

In my mid-forties, when I was brimming with confidence, and, yes, hubris, I contemplated a career as a chaplain; specifically a workplace/industrial chaplain. With this aim in my mind, I enrolled in a few courses to learn some basic counseling and communication skills.

The outcome of one such course, Basic Preaching Skills, was the opportunity to deliver a Reflection at our church at our first Palm Sunday service of the 21st Century.  I was very touched by the love and support of the congregation for my endeavours, but I am thankful that, later on,  the employers of chaplains were less supportive, and sensibly turned me away.

With Palm Sunday, tomorrow, I have been remembering my brief stand at the pulpit, so many years ago,  and thinking how my faith has changed. In my  own Palm Sunday terms, I suspect I have fallen off the untamed colt/donkey.

Here’s an extract from my Reflection, which, as some of you may surmise, is based on a poor understanding of theology and an idiosyncratic interpretation of the Bible.  The Reflection is titled Wild Rides.

“From babyhood in Bethlehem, onward to manhood in Jerusalem, God has given his people a leader, a healer, a companion in humanity, doubt and faith. This man has gathered, ON THE WAY, fame, friends and followers, and the requisite enemies, too. He is Jesus in the tradition of Abraham, Moses, Jacob, David, Elijah… he’s the Son of Man who could be King. But on Palm Sunday, there is a pause, a change of pace, between the restoration of Bartimaeus’ sight and the whirlwind that follows the triumphal entry to Jerusalem; …….  Jesus, the man of humility, outspoken critic of pomp and ceremony, pauses, lifts his feet off the ground, and takes a ride. He IS the WAY.

In Mark’s description of Palm Sunday, we see a Jesus who momentarily stops directing and healing and preaching, who allows himself to be; to be adulated, to be carried forward, to be King. This creates a challenge….but the challenge is not so much to the owner of the colt, or to the Roman and religious authorities. It’s a challenge to us.

The challenge, I believe, is to be; to be like Jesus and accept God’s gracious offer of a ride into a faith that will move mountains. God loves us for the faith of our comfort zone, a faith that is scheduled and timetabled, that will take us through the week, through 40 days, or 40 years, if necessary; but on Palm Sunday we see God offering a deeper faith of infinite implications and dimensions, and unbounded journeys.

Jesus is the Way. Through him, through Palm Sunday, we know we can accept God’s offer of a faith that moves mountains. God doesn’t offer crowd control, or silent, unchurned stomachs, or freedom from screaming. But, if we accept what, undoubtedly, will be the wildest ride of our lives, God’s underpinning hand of steadfast love will not let us fall. …….”

Hmmm….well, as I said, I do seem to have come unseated from my ride in recent years  but I haven’t been trampled, yet. Which means that, despite my doubts,  I still find great comfort in prayers offered by friends, by our Minister, and members of our church. And, in various past crises related to hospitalization, I have valued, beyond measure, the support and calm guidance/prayer of hospital chaplains.

And I  value beyond measure all the loving thoughts and good wishes that have come my way in response to my previous post.  I am happy to report I am starting to feel almost as perky as these beautiful pansies, given to me on my birthday. 🙂 ( I am also happy my path led to blogging not chaplaincy, even though I have the utmost admiration for chaplains and the wonderful work they do . 😉 )

Palm Sunday thoughts in the company of birthday pansies.

Palm Sunday thoughts in the company of birthday pansies.

© silkannthreades

Keeping track of myself

As a slow-moving, slow-thinking, stay-at-homer, living without the aid of  a Fitbit to keep track of myself, I am inclined to fall into the habit of believing that my day’s achievements equal little more than  washing out and washing in; and that’s on a relatively well-organized day. 😀 However, if I stop for a moment and put on my old-fashioned  considering cap , I slowly  begin to understand that I have been achieving. Indeed, almost over-achieving 😉 .

For example, in this past first week of the New Year, I have, amongst other things, baked two  delicious cakes, a loaf of yogurt bread, and two hearty desserts.  I have been on some favourite  summertime walks. I have caught up with most of my blog reading and commenting. And I have decluttered the inner workings of my faithful old Toshiba laptop so that it performs faster and more efficiently than it has done in years. Hooray! Oh, and, let’s not forget, I  have given my husband a handsome haircut. ( It’s taken me more than thirty years to get up the courage to take on the haircutting! )

But of more importance, and beyond any of these achievements, has been my week of keeping tabs on my BEING; specifically on my Grateful Being.  Many people write a gratitude journal but this is the first time I have done so. It was much harder work than I expected, but I am pleased I persevered with it.

So, if you have a moment to spare, draw up a chair, put on your considering caps, and make what you will of my 7 days of random gratitudes.

Here I go….. grateful for

and grateful, too, for my new  Nextbook, for my ability to sleep soundly  through the Wilberforce earthquake, and grateful for the fact that our  Christmases don’t all come at once.

My final gratitude is reserved for the wonderful weeds that grow like flowers in my garden.

Self-sown beauties.

Self-sown beauties.

© silkannthreades