Yesterday's Pause For Thought stimulated such a reaction. ..
...I thought it would be a good idea to publish it via today's blog: Please enjoy the wonderfully positive and profound musings of Rabbi Pete Tobias:
Last night I saw an amazing sunset. As I reached a small area of open land close to my home in Hertfordshire, the sun, large, round and red, was a full circle, its base just touching the tops of the distant trees. In less than five minutes it had sunk completely below the horizon.
It gave me an insight into why my ancestors, without such technological tools as clocks or calendars chose to mark the end of one day and the beginning of the next at sundown. If each day is an opportunity, then the setting of the sun - especially when seen so graphically - is a chance to reflect on what has been achieved in the time that's passed since the last sunset.
I was careful not to say 'the twenty-four hours that have passed' in that last sentence. Because the time between sunsets is never exactly twenty-four hours. The 'hour' is a human invention, as is the idea that one day ends and the next one begins at midnight. Measuring time is a peculiar business. So is our place in it, and our relationship with it.
The poet Philip James Bailey once wrote:
'We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures of a dial.
We should count time in heart-throbs. A person most lives
Who thinks most - feels the noblest - acts the best.'
It doesn't much matter whether we consider that each day ends and the new one begins at midnight, sunset, or whenever we wake up in the morning. The important thing is to use well the time we have been given.
In the eleventh century, a rabbi called Bachya ibn Pakuda, wrote: 'Days are like scrolls. Write on them what you want to be remembered'.
At some point every day - sunset, midnight or maybe at around 9.15 in the morning, perhaps everyone should stop and consider what might be remembered about that particular day. You might even call it a pause for thought...
Peace and Love.