“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Friday, 27 July 2012

Finding God in the Dryness

I'm not good at anti-climaxes. You work and work towards something, doing the best that you can to achieve your goal. And then you get there. At first it is wonderful, you're on Cloud 9, and everything in the garden is rosy.

And then life, as it has a way of doing, goes on. Kind friends have congratulated you on your achievement, and then something else happens, and it is time to move on. But there is a flatness, a smidgeon of "so-what-ery" about things, and it is then that I find it difficult to motivate myself to carry out the present task, or even to enjoy the present pleasure. I feel a bit like the Christian described by C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters, who, "no longer desiring, but still intending, to do [God's] will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."

As usual, I turn to Quaker Advices and Queries for advice. And it is there:

"Be aware of the spirit of God at work in the ordinary activities and experience of your daily life. Spiritual learning continues throughout life, and often in unexpected ways. There is inspiration to be found all around us, in the natural world, in the sciences and arts, in our work and friendships, in our sorrows as well as in our joys. Are you open to new light, from whatever source it may come? Do you approach new ideas with discernment?"

So I have a job to do - to recognise the working of the Spirit everywhere - in nature, in humankind, in the ups and downs of everyday life. I know in my deepest heart that He/She is there, but need to keep on being mindful, so that I won't miss the shining examples when I see them. And to "listen with the ear of my heart", as my friend Danny would say, so that I hear them too. And to realise how very fortunate I am to have been given the faculties to recognise the sacred at work in my life.


  1. I very much like that quote from Advices and Queries. And I recognise that feeling of flatness that you describe. I remember, as a child, after something really nice had happened, being upset and saying "Nothing nice will ever happen again". But it will. And I love that about looking for the sacred in the everyday.