Of Mice & Marshwiggles – Day 7 – Call
Setting the Scene: At the birth of Narnia a London Hansom Cab driver, soon to be with his wife crowned as King Frank and Queen Helen, wonders at things that he sees.
‘Gawd!’ said the Cabby. ‘Ain’t it lovely?’
Then two wonders happened at the same moment. One was that the voice was suddenly joined by other voices; more voices than you could possibly count. They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale: cold, tingling, silvery voices. The second wonder was that the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars. They didn’t come out gently one by one, as they do on a summer evening. One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out – single stars, constellations, and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world. There were no clouds. The new stars and the new voices began at exactly the same time. If you had seen and heard it, as Digory did, you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves which were singing, and that it was the First Voice, the deep one, which had made them appear and made them sing.
‘Glory be!’ said the Cabby. ‘I’d ha’ been a better man all my life if I’d known there were things like this.’
The Magician’s Nephew – Chapter 8 – The Fight at the Lamp-Post (© C.S. Lewis)
One of the reasons why I do not always run to answer the call of God is that I do not always see the world and the universe the way God does. Instead of being able to take a step back and in faithful patience see God’s plan unfold, I rush ahead and try to build God’s kingdom my way – needless to say I am no master mason!
If I only had God’s vision, if only I could see things the way God sees things, then I would definitely have lived a different life – a fuller life, a more careful life perhaps even a more holy life. With the Cabby I too would ‘ha’ been a better man all my life if I’d known there were things like this.’ So why don’t I see things the way God sees them? I should. I think I am a faithful person and the writer to the Hebrews reminds me that ‘faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.’ Believing is not about seeing – but I have learnt that seeing things does help belief a little.
We do not, at least I don’t, always see things as clearly as we should. If you continue to read the story you will discover that Digory’s Uncle Andrew, the Magician of the book’s title, can’t hear any song or words from Aslan or any Narnian – only ‘barkings, growlings, bayings and howlings’. He can’t see that Aslan is calling a new world into being but only perceives danger and wishes there was a hunter nearby with a gun to kill the Lion. If I cannot see clearly, if I cannot hear correctly, I will never be able to follow.
Each of us needs to learn to take the time to stop and look and listen to the beauty around us then we would be more able to lay aside our plans and follow God’s way instead. King Frank, as he is to become, dispenses common sense wisdom when in the middle of song with which Aslan calls Narnia to birth he tells Digory’s uncle.
‘Oh stow it, Guv’nor, do stow it,’ said the Cabby. ‘Watchin’ and listenin’s the thing at present; not talking.’
Maybe one of the reasons I do not always see things how God sees them is that I do not stop to look but rush on to give my opinion about anything and everythin. Those who know me well will agree! God has given us this season of grace and mercy called Lent where you and I can change all of that.
Where, this Lent, have you allowed room for simply looking and listening and saying ‘Glory be!’
God of delight, source of all joy,
thank you for making me part of the web of life,
depending on the rhythms and fruits of the earth
for my existence.
Help me to be wholly present to you,
now, in this place,
where my feet are on the ground,
and where I am surrounded by creation’s gifts
from concrete to clouds,
if I have the wit to notice them!
In ‘The Book of a Thousand Prayers’ © Angela Ashwin – Compiler
Have a look at the plans you have for the days and weeks ahead. Some things will not be able to be altered but try to plan moments when you can make space to look at God’s creation and listen to God’s call.
If you have an appointment for an event arrive five minutes early just for quiet reflection.
Travel more slowly to whatever you are doing – Jesus showed us the whole of God’s love whilst walking at only three miles per hour.
Make a ‘To NOT Do’ list.
Find some time today, whatever the weather, to sit in the ‘Son’ light.
© Andrew Dotchin 2018