“All religions will pass but this will remain: simply sitting in a chair and looking into the distance”.
On my computer desk at home I have one of those old fashioned ‘accessories’ that you flick over when you feel like it to reveal a fresh quotation to ponder upon – a forerunner of the meme and doesn’t spread anywhere near as quickly!
I flicked it over on Monday. It revealed a quote by Russian writer and pre-revolutionary Philosopher Vasily Vasilievich Rozanov (1856 – 1919): All religions will pass but this will remain: simply sitting in a chair and looking into the distance.
Only time will tell if the first part of his projection comes true. I suspect not, given that all the religions I have encountered have at their heart capacity for simply sitting and looking into the distance. That’s what contemplation is.
However, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time just lately (as I suspect others have) simply sitting in a chair and looking into the distance. Distance in this sense is not geographical but looking ahead in time. Looking beyond the present moment. Making sense of current circumstances and envisioning what life might be like sometime in the future.
Easter usually does that to me but because it tends to be a busy period as well, there tends to be less time to ponder and consider things of faith.
This year is different. So very different that I found myself simply sitting in a chair and using the ‘space’ to think more deeply about the week ‘after’ Easter; imagining what it must have been like for his close followers in those first few hours and days after his arrest and execution.
So much theological and spiritual thought goes into Holy Week – the week before the crucifixion – daily reflections and meditations etc and in some traditions ‘daily’ worship services. But the week ‘after’ seems to just disappear. The preaching calendar gallops past this period and takes us quickly through the start of Acts and prepares us for the season of Pentecost.
But as I look into the distance, the post-Easter week is just as valuable for faith formation as Holy Week. There are so many big themes to consider: Doubt; Grief; Disappointment; Guilt; Hope. So, instead of a Holy post-Easter week, I’m going to develop a Holy post-Easter month where we will take a journey of faith through these 5 themes. Beginning this week with Doubt.
Meanwhile, enjoy simply sitting in a chair and looking into the distance.