UP THE MOUNTAIN

MADE IT UP HERE – and there’s blue sea and sky – and wi-fi! And I’ve learned for the umpteenth time in my life how quickly work-related “worriting” dissipates as soon as we get here. We’re in Fuerteventura again, on the coast, not actually up a mountain – a metaphorical reference to Jesus’ having taken off “up a mountain” from time to time.

It is actually hard to leave parish concerns behind, the people I care and pray for and with. There’s always unfinished business in parish life. Always something remaining undone. But it can’t be harder for me than for the Master, for heaven’s sake, and anyway, it’s an odd conundrum, for I love holidays and I preach perpetually that what any of us has to give to the life of the world is only really worth anything if it comes out of a real, authentic inner life.

And it’s not just the business of prayer I’m talking about here, important though prayer is. It’s more a making use of our imaginations that I’m thinking of – a needing time for deep breathing, for novels and poetry, and landscape and space, and music and silence, and warmth and food, and sea and sand, and contemplation.

All these gifts enable what I feel I was created to be all year round. And life has certainly quietened for a spell, only a matter of hours after flying out of Manchester airport. God is good. So’s this lovely place. And just as I believe that Jesus will have “carried” those he cared about “up the mountain” with him, so with me, too. And there’s a deeper listening.

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Fuerteventura, Spain