"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

spiritual default settings

Yesterday I was in London and visited St Lawrence Jewry, the official Church of the Lord Mayor of London and of the City of London Corporation. It is a very beautiful church indeed with a fascinating history, as described in full on its website, from which I quote:

"There has been a church on the present site since the twelfth century. The first church is thought to have been built in 1136, and was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. The church was one of many re-built by Sir Christopher Wren, Work began in 1670 and was completed in 1687. It was one of Wren's most expensive City Churches.

During the second world war the church was extensively damaged but not completely destroyed on 29th December 1940.

Restored in 1957, it is now the official Church of the Corporation of London. Like most Wren Churches few walls are at right angles but the "sumptuous barn" white interior with its gold-leaf and chandeliers is spectacular. The church was described by Sir John Betjeman as "very municipal, very splendid." It was designated a Grade I listed on January 4, 1950"

Talking to the vicar and Chaplain Canon David Parrott, I was saddened to learn how very few attend the regular weekday and Sunday Holy Communions, and how very small is the resident congregation, although he told me the church is packed to the rafters on the few special civic services during the year.

And that made me think about how we can bring people back to spirituality and worship. There must be very many in the City of London and its environs who would surely welcome the peace and spiritual sustenance provided within the walls of such a wonderful place, built to the Glory of God. When I had my own very busy and stressful accountancy and tax practice I found the mid week communion at the local church a restorative time of prayer and fellowship at the Lord's Table.

When I arrived home last night, and in one of those wonderful serendipitous moments we all experience from time to time, I came across an item in Weatherstone's blog which I follow that made me pause for thought.

Although written in the context of the author's own spiritual journey in the American Evangelical Church, that does not matter. His message has a universal Christian relevance, as he draws upon an analogy between our own personal spiritual choices and the choices we have on our computers to alter the default settings.

The computer manufacturer has a pretty good idea of what we want or need from our computer. We turn it on and can immediately take advantage of the default settings. We can get on with what we want to do easily (well usually!). Those of us who are more computer literate, or think we are, can alter those settings to suit ourselves. The trouble is that sometimes we totally screw up the system, get in a total mess and end up with frustration and worse.

Have too many of us twiddled with our own default spiritual settings, without the manual or a clear understanding of what we are doing. Do we think we know best only to find that we don't!? I am quite sure that many have lost touch with their Christian upbringing and beliefs, and their spiritual needs, in this way, and need some system default corrections!

God may know what we want or need better than us - perhaps we should go back to those default settings and be guided by a greater Spiritual Teacher towards a better journey!

If people would only listen to their default spiritual settings and give God a chance.

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