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25/11/2016

A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with the Rt Rev'd Libby Lane, Bishop of Stockport.

2 minutes

Last on

Fri 25 Nov 2016 05:43

On the threshold

Good morning.The experience of walking from one room to another and forgetting what you came for is common enough, but psychologists have recently reassured us that we are not showing signs of illness when we do this, but manifesting a primitive defense mechanism in our brains. When we cross a threshold, our attention goes off our immediate purpose and instead starts to be alert for potential threats lurking in the new environment.
This evolutionary mechanism may be subliminal - literally ‘under the threshold’ - but it is sufficiently powerful to be disorienting.
A certain amount of disorientation may be good for us. As we approach the season of Advent, which begins this coming weekend, we find ourselves on the threshold of a new year, according to my church’s calendar. At a time traditionally associated with self-examination, where will we put our attention? Might we find ourselves temporarily forgetful of our main pre-occupations - the carrying out of our everyday tasks, the following through of our plans and the striving to achieve our objectives - in order to give our attention to some of those things which are usually ‘below the threshold’? 
Might we have areas of our lives which we prefer not to think of in the everyday but which nonetheless may contain threats to our well-being? Are there things we have said, or not said, which may come back to haunt us? Are there relationships we have neglected, challenges we have not faced, anxieties we have not acknowledged?
Being at a threshold can be a liberating and enriching experience if we are prepared to use it wisely.
Lord, whatever threshold we cross today, help us to pay attention to you and to listen as you show us areas of our lives where changes are needed.Amen

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