Miriam is a children’s worker in Kent, who has just completed a year of spiritual formation and community with St Anselm as a NonResident.
Apparently I’ve done a very good job of convincing my fellow community members that I’m good at being on time.
This would be a shock for people who know me outside the Community; timing has never been my strong point. So I find what God has been teaching me this year somewhat amusing. Back at our first retreat in November I had a worrying revelation. I suddenly realised that in signing up for the Community of St Anselm, I’d signed up for a Year in God’s Time.
The problem was that what I’d signed up for was in God’s time, not my time, and God’s timing seems to be annoyingly different to mine, most of the time. This literally hit me in the face and as I said it to one of the other community members she laughed a lot. I mean, it’s pretty clear – it’s everywhere on the publicity – but it just hadn’t quite sunk in.
Yet it wasn’t until the final Saturday of the Community’s year that it all clicked in to place. We had time to look at Genesis 12, where God was with Abram as he moved around and set altars at each place. We were encouraged to look back at the altars or moments we’ve had through the year and I saw that for me, it was all about God’s timing. Each time God has shown me something or spoken to me about something, it has been at just the right time to prepare me for what was to come. It wasn’t so early that I’d forget, it wasn’t too late that I was left floundering. It was exactly when I needed it. I’ve been learning that I don’t need to know everything all at once, and sometimes it’s better I don’t know what’s coming or I’d have run a mile.
One of the passages I’ve thought about a lot is when Jesus calls Peter to get out of the boat and walk on the water towards him. As soon as Peter loses focus and looks away he starts to sink, but when his eyes are fixed on Jesus he is okay. I’ve been learning to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, and whenever my gaze wanders He calls me back to looking at Him.
This year has been full of adventure, pain, surprise and joy in so many ways. But for me, it’s all been about learning that God’s timing is most definitely better than my timing. When I share about this wonderful community, I tell people about the retreats, the laughter, the prayer, the spiritual accompaniment, the singing, the choosing each other, the teaching, the opportunity to serve others, the albs… but above all, as the Community’s strapline says, it does indeed involve a Year in God’s Time.
Applications for NonResident Membership – for young professionals who want to go deeper in prayer and community, to balance and enrich full-time employment – are still open. https://stanselm.heiapply.com/application/
St Anselm Online, July 14, 2018