On Saturday I attended a “quiet day”, led by Tony Horsfall. The day had three teaching sessions on the theme of Abiding in Christ – based on Jesus’ teaching in John 15. Each session was followed by an opportunity to go off somewhere (we were at a retreat centre) and be quiet.
The message was that the Christian life is not about us trying harder to live for God, but about allowing the life of Jesus to be lived through us: we learn to abide in Christ (the vine and the branches). However it is not meant to be passive: fruitful living calls for us to practice spiritual disciplines (Scripture, dependence expressed through prayer – two examples) by which we place ourselves in the way of grace.
Interestingly, there were considerably more women than men at the day. Why is this? Were all the men at the Mandate men’s conference? Watching the Ulster rugby team? In either of those cases, it was just a question of a clash of diaries.
Or could it be that men are less keen on quiet reflection?