The Group Monthly Letter – December 2012

by Geoff Hall on December 31, 2012

December, 2012.  Times and Seasons

 

Mentoring support for word, image and performance arts

Hi,

Well, Happy New Year to everyone. I trust it will bring a greater realisation of our gifts.

 

At this time of year we are meant to look back and reflect upon our goals and achievements; whether we have reached them,or if we have fallen short.

 

At the end of 2012 I can look back to reflect on some wonderful times, but also now see that learning to Follow the Way is never completed in a calendar or academic year. Whilst I have spent much of my time being underwhelmed by my spiritual life and God in particular – with dented expectations of promises unfulfilled – at this very final moment of the year I can say that I have learnt something quite life-changing. Whilst some questions seem to be eternal – like why have the gifts but not the resources to enter the mainstream – I must admit to having an epiphany.

 

When an ancient Greek writer named Luke wrote an action thriller sequel to his good news story, it dawned upon me that what he was writing about a new relationship with our Maker. The Followers are told to wait in the city and not go into the Provinces until the Promise has arrived. A pretty simple command; nothing too complicated there; even fishermen could understand that. They then start asking questions about events, about dates and times for certain things to happen. Here’s how he sums this up, by giving a little ‘less helpful’ advice:

 

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”

 

Whilst I have wrestled with the angels(!) over the fulfilling of Promises, it suddenly struck me that I was asking the same kind of question about the ‘when’ of it all. Then the epiphany struck me, that whilst we talk of the seasons of the soul, we cannot think of this as linear in time like our own seasons, but that under this New Contract we will not have an answer to our questions whereby we can then pen in a date in our diary. In the meantime we must wait where we are. Now waiting is not a passive thing, for spiritually it is a very active time, but our waiting is not in vain, it is in the expectation of fulfilment.

 

So, here I am, waiting for the Promises to be fulfilled, not in vain hope, but in expectation. This I found strangely comforting. The New Contract is different from the Old one and we are to realign our actions accordingly. It is easy to stomp off, disappointed, feeling rejected, underwhelmed and frustrated. However, if we do that we will miss the Promise, if we move out of the city and try and pre-empt our expectations, we will walk presumptuously, in our own steam, our own power and then we’ll wonder why that endeavour gradually breaks down, collapsing under the weight of our best efforts.

 

May we be granted the peace to stay where we are, so that we receive what we need for the next part of the journey, for our adventure on thin ice.

Have a great 2013. (I hope to see you next week at the Tree House New Year Celebrations!)

An image from Tarkovsky's 'Stalker'

Peace and Love,

Geoffx

2 comments

A good reflection Geoff, and apparently anticipation is half the pleasure!

In fact in my experience it would seem it really is! I remember when I first came to Bristol c.2005 I spent several years literally travelling back to the countryside away from the city, as much as a two hour round trip! Finally I ended up back in the city in c.2009, waiting, waiting and waiting, in fact waiting for two years! BUT, it was from this place of waiting that I began to discern the calling to get back to my core, ingrained, God-given creativity.

And I have been waiting for God and truly starting the adventure of an exciting partnership with Him pretty much ever since. The last two years have seen a divine planting beginning to blossom, and just this December, two years into running my own freelance business I have begun to see the very first of the first-fruits really arriving in my business!

It is also interesting to reflect that this sense of arrival has become most apparent since giving my business a ‘real wide world’ branding and moving away from some of the inevitable limitations of a merely ‘Christian’ one.

So here’s to more waiting and that which comes to those who do, and more of the revelation which follows…

by Ralph Mann on December 31, 2012 at 6:57 pm. Reply #

Hi Ralph,
Well, thanks for sharing this. I always felt during our little mentoring chats that you were supposed to be here, in the city. You’ve probably arrived via a route you had not planned(!), but it shows that we shouldn’t try and prescribe destinations for our creative lives, but be moved by that Wind that blows where it wills!

Peace,
Geoffx

by Geoff Hall on December 31, 2012 at 8:39 pm. Reply #

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