Chaplain’s Musings – 12th July 2021

Re-Discovering the Classics 2

The Contemplative, we are told, recognises the sacred potential in the mundane task.
The philosopher Søren Kierkegaard reminds us “repetition is reality, and it is the seriousness of life…. Repetition is the daily bread which satisfies with benediction” Repetition is both as ordinary and as necessary as bread. Pause to reflect on your own view on repetition – does it give you boredom or security or….. ?

When reading a story to a small child, who among us has not heard that child summon the authority to say “read it again” ?  And my goodness is there trouble to be had if a single word is missed out or changed !

It is common enough to make an observation such as this: I once saw a girl of about four years of age find a coin on the floor of a post office. “look Papa, a penny” she said. The parent busy talking to the person at the counter, mumbled some acknowledgement. The child put the coin back on the floor in a different place this time. “look Papa, a penny” she exclaimed afresh “I found another one !” This game was kept up until she had found 5 coins and each one of them new (to her).

The wisdom of that child is too difficult for adults to retain. Only mystics and poets get to play. And though we play cultural lip service to both those traditions it is largely with condescension if we are honest. Pause to reflect on your own attitude towards poets and mystics. What about as a career choice ?

It might be true that the sun rises regularly and repeatedly because it never gets tired of repetition. What a relief ! That repetition does not rob of life as does boredom, but is the source of life. Perhaps God exults in the monotony of repetition. It is possible that God says every morning ‘Do it again” to the sun and every evening “Do it again” to the moon. And yet it may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately and has never got tired of making them. Seen thus, the repetition in Nature may not be mere recurrence but rather a theatrical encore. Heaven may encore stars and galaxies “Do it again”. Pause and enjoy the sheer pleasure of giving free reign to such thinking ….

Jump back into your own skin. Imagine though what the mundane tasks that are yours to complete might look like if we were allowed to be as a four year old again…… It may be that God has the eternal appetite of a four year old; for we have sinned and grown old, and our heavenly Father is younger than we. Imagine !

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