If you have animals, you will be used to the grooming process. We have just had our massive Farah professionally groomed for the first time. She is a mastiff and golden retriever cross and weighs over 60 kilos. I knew there would be hassle and persuaded the grooming lady to come to us. The deep brushing went well, but when we got to the nail clipping, it all broke loose! The lady brought an assistant and they were very patient. Then came bath time. She hates water, probably because she isn’t used to it. Using a bowl dripped gently on her back to start with had the desired effect and soon the suds were flowing, washed away with a gentle hosepipe.

If only life is that simple. Planning and patience are the keys; taking time. What seems an impossibility can turn into a good outcome. I guess you wish you had a magic wand, wave it and all life’s troubles disappear. The world has always been crazy, but today we can’t escape having it thrust in our face; oh sure we can lock ourselves away and not let any news or social media invade our space, but something will inevitably filter through our blackout.

My life here at The Olive Grove Retreat is about contemplation. I struggle with the world and God’s purpose for it. That’s a pretty tall order! Contemplation calms our mind and spirit. It can help us relieve worries and stress, leaves room for our mind to wander and then to focus again. This helps us clarify our thoughts and have new ideas. Contemplative prayer follows Christian meditation and is the highest form of prayer which aims to achieve a close spiritual union with God.

We aren’t really taught how to pray. Often when we pray, it is words, words, words; a transaction with God. “I need this Lord, please hear my plea and answer me”, with good intentions, especially if our prayer is for others. A good friend puts it this way: “Talk to God as your friend; any place, any time. Keep the line open and give thanks.”

John 16 verse 33 says: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

These words are something we can accept or reject – our choice. As I look at the state of the world, I know where my hope lies.

Always happy to hear from you. 

‘Bye for now and God bless 

Rev Andrew