A New Way

Simon Jones joined the ‘open zoom’ this past Tuesday evening and sent me a reflection that he wrote a little while back entitled ‘A New Way’. I asked him to add something at the beginning to give a context. Evev if you skim that background drop down to read ‘A New Way’. You can follow Simon’s ongoing reflections here:

http://www.simonswritingandwalking.com/


I really appreciated joining the open zoom on Tuesday. Peter really opened up for us thoughts to do with land, a new way ahead, and the old falling away. What struck me as he spoke and as I listened to other people’s reflections was how a new way has been opening up for some time, but that in the light of the last few years ‘shaking’ the new way and new ways we will need in order to find a way forward within society and communities, is being grasped by more people. We don’t know what the next few years will bring, but it seems that we are looking at a bigger change than we might have thought possible 3 or 4 years ago… potentially to the extent where established ways of life on macro or micro scales will be almost impossible to maintain. But even for those of us who may have sought to live a different way of life (perhaps semi counter-culturally from within or from the edges of society) for some years before the more recent ‘shaking’… the actual question of how new ways of life within society, new ways of living with people and as nations, and new ways of ‘expressing’ faith outside of pre-conceived concepts and constructs, remains just that – a question.

In other words, those who may have been living towards, praying for and prophesying a change – a falling of certain elements of unsustainable living and oppressive systems, macro and micro… don’t really know what to do when these things and these changes actually do happen, when certain things/trees do actually come down and when a new way, and many new ways begin to be called for. How do we live them? What are they? And what on earth could the role of little old me be when most people around will be so busy trying to hold up and hold onto the things which are falling away, that they want to keep there.

I know the choices I have made to live and struggle a semi-counter cultural existence with a family – mainly from within society than fully from its edges – and I know some of the things I want to be part of my own life, and some of those things that the land around and the earth in general is calling out for… but, do I really know the way ahead in this rapidly changing season? No, I definitely don’t – and what struck me on the zoom session is that none of us do really. But perhaps to live focussed on love, life, play and creativity in the midst of falling trees and collapsing walls, may be a better response than despair… and may, if we continue, begin to open up new ways that others can follow, or at least hook in with and forge their own new ways from there. So, I wrote this as a grappling with what is happening. I was struck in one of Martin’s posts where he said that Europe, despite its troubled history, may be entrusted with a calling to open up some new ways for the future.

I don’t think it should surprise us if it’s hard to see what the way forward is.

But together – listening to one another’s thoughts and different stories and perspectives, may in fact open further doors. I wonder if programmes like Ben Fogle’s ‘New lives in the Wild’ may be helpful for engaging and thinking outside of the boxes around us not necessarily to cause us to withdraw, but to help us to engage with the question, ‘what could life be like?’ in a way that is different to what we have seen, known and been told by the systems around that it should be like.


A NEW WAY

A new way is opening up,
But how do we find it?

A new way is opening up,
But how do we grasp it?

A new way is opening up,
But who will reveal it?

A new way is opening up,
But will we conceal it?

It is time for the nations to embrace reconciliation.
It is time for the peoples to embrace new creation.

Love opens the door ahead of us.

Love has caused much of the shaking.

Not because love is violent – no, love is gentle.

But the outpouring of gentleness reveals and repeals mankind’s law of violence.

How do we find a gentle way in relation to the land?
To love it, grow out of it and work with it, rather than simply work it or exploit it.

How do we find a gentle way in relation to economics?
To live independent of unjust economic systems – by faith and in trust.

How do we find a gentle way in relation to community?
When most of us fear it – for it has not always been an unconditional embrace of our
uniqueness and vulnerability.

Many want to hold onto the old ways.
But they won’t cut it.

But many of us who want the new ways, the new things, and the new season,
do not know how to walk it, talk it or live it.

But if we walk, talk, live, create, sing, dance, listen, pray and play…
If we do these things… these slower and more gentle things,
anyway… even if we do not yet know what the new way is…
What the new ways are…

Then in our being and resting and waiting and living, and praying and playing and occasional
thinking…

A new way will open up.
Many new ways will open up.
And we will see, and others will see.
And people will know.
And many will think the thoughts of love – the new ways of love
that are being thought by the few…

And perhaps the many will, in time, embrace some, if not all, of the ways and thoughts of the ‘few’.

Gentleness will open a door and a new way will come.
The past will be left behind…

And a glorious, but gentle future will unfold.

We don’t know what the new looks like fully yet, but we will.

Love has come, love will come and love is coming to heal and renew.

Perspectives