Chris Skidmore lives adventurously in lockdown in the 'Thought for the week'
One might easily conclude that just now is not the time for living adventurously. Indeed, most – if not all – of the external activities that we might class as ‘adventures’ are more or less closed to us during the current lockdown. But sitting in my chair at home this morning, sharing the gathered silence with Quakers in my Meeting and across the country, the ministry that I was given was: ‘Live adventurously!’
Of course, this favourite of late-twentieth-century Quaker slogans never was intended to encourage us to take part in extreme sports or other bold physical activity. In Advices & queries 27, it precedes the query ‘when choices arise, do you take the way that offers the fullest opportunity for the use of your gifts in the service of God and the community?’ and the advice, ‘let your life speak’. It is spiritual adventuring to which we are being exhorted.
Every day brings those choices, even if we are confined to our homes. A simple message, in whatever form you favour, to that friend you normally meet only on the street or the Meeting house, can carry your love and remind them that they have not been forgotten.
But there are other sorts of spiritual adventuring. Spiritual learning continues always, as Advices & queries 7 reminds us. Don’t give way to a pandemic-inspired siege mentality but remember that: ‘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?’
For me, it is in taking up again that long discarded book, or in the hymns that my next-door neighbours play on their living room piano – you will have other triggers. There is never any lack of opportunities for spiritual adventure!
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