Note to Sarah

It’s only been a few days since I found ‘The Way Station’ – not something that I would have thought of looking for! I’ve been looking at the blog and listening to several of the conversations. I can relate to so much of what has been said.

It’s been about six weeks since I finished updating my blog and the reactions have been very limited (in some cases they have heard a lot of it before). I’ve always preferred blogging but I’ve been using Facebook for 9 years and have shared stories with something over 2,000 people in that time.

It was in 2008 that I was the most active on the web – especially with Newsgroups following the publication of ‘The Shack’, that I had known about for two years before publication.

I had been made redundant in 1990 for the third time, and in 1996 I was an ‘Active Age Adviser’ for Age Concern when I was invited to take part in a pilot study Promoting Positive Mental Health for Older people using the slogan happiness.help.haven.hope with the idea of creating ‘Safe Havens’ in Sheltered Housing facilities. There were never enough funds! But it did mean that my wife and I were able in 1999 to organise computer training for the over 60’s in our own community.

After getting very involved with the Emerging / Emergent / House Church scene in 2004/5 I created a blog entitled ‘The Room of Grace’ where I encouraged a few online friends to share their stories. Another idea that didn’t get very far!

I had seen ‘The Room of Grace’ like a railway station where people would drop off; share something of their story; learn from others who were passing through; and then go their own way. I had reached a point where I felt that at 70 it was probably time to settle there and encourage others to move ahead.

But that’s when things really started to happen. The blog became ‘A Garden of Grace’; I was introduced to the writings of Richard Holloway, the former leader of the Episcopal Church in Scotland and the blog of a former Independent Fundamentalist pastor in America. It would have been at this time while attending a ‘Church in a Pub’ that we had Pete Rollins as a visitor. It was in late December 2012 that I watched the BBC series ‘A History of the World’ by Andrew Marr that was a real eye opener.

Then in 2013 my wife and I joined U3A (University of the Third Age). My wife is a bit of a linguist but I started with Philosophy,  Psychology and Christian Counselling (only an hour a week each) and then History of Christianity; History of Religion; Buddhism and Islam.

I’ve just been sitting here and thinking with my fingers (something I do from time to time).

I’ve never found reading easy and I have an almost total inability to memorise any poetry or the definitions of words – but anything mathematical, logical or analytical came almost second nature. I have this ability to go round the circle time and again refining what I have done – Aspergers Syndrome seems to fit the bill.

How would I fit into The Way Station? I’ve heard most of the stories of why people are on these journeys. I’ve been asking questions for some 65 years – we are all on our own unique journeys – we are not looking for others to give us the answer – we need encouragement to go on searching. I like the idea of being a sounding board, but I’m particularly drawn to some teaching I found about a month ago:
We teach best what we most need to learn.