Viewpoint from Rev Derrick Hill 14/05/2021
Rev Derrick Hill
Retired Baptist Minister
Recently the broadband connection to my home was severed. Thanks to BT Openreach, it was up and running again within 24 hours, but in the intervening period I was amazed how many times I went to do things that would use that connection but could not do so! I took this episode as a lesson that in recent days my life had once again become far too busy, seemingly dependent upon the instant answers that we have become used to the internet delivering. For 24 hours I had little option but to be still – and I survived!
During lockdown, whilst those in the NHS and related occupations have been excessively busy, others have lived life at a slower pace. As we did so, many noticed things we had overlooked before. For me, the passage of the seasons as revealed in the garden and wildlife especially drew my attention. The sound of birdsong in my garden brought me great delight. And thoughts drifted back to a time 55 years ago when I studied physics at the University of Sussex, set amongst beautiful countryside and with the apt motto “Be still and know”
While there I found that I learned so much more than simply my academic subject. In particular I found that my Christian faith was strengthened – not least as I realised the fuller quotation from which the university motto came. You’ll find it in the Bible at Psalm 46, verse 10 and it reads: “Be still and know that I am God”. Thus began a lifetime of almost continuous Christian leadership including many happy years in Great Yarmouth
And, in retirement, as I have found more opportunity to be still - to read, to listen to the world and to realise more fully that challenges that we face and to pray – I have become ever more convinced that the solution to our problems lies not in greater activity by the human race but rather from learning to be still and discover the character and activity of God who created this world and is at work to sustain it, even to this day
As I recognised again when my internet broke, it is easy to get caught up in the world’s busyness – but harder to stop, be still and reflect upon the deeper truths of life. But I suggest to you that the latter is far more fulfilling!
also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury
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