Commercial Chaplain's Letter - As good as it gets

Church Office - July 2005

David McCouloughMany people have in their minds a ‘dream home’ or, ‘a holiday of my dreams’. A bungalow with neat gardens, a country cottage overlooking the village green, or maybe a detached house up a long drive. The holiday might be a Caribbean cruise, a visit to the Galapogos Islands, trekking in Nepal or a safari in South Africa.

Dreaming dreams is one of those characteristics that sets humans apart from other creatures, so maybe dreaming dreams is one of those qualities which reflects the image and likeness of God in us.

Most of our dreams are based on information, observation or experience – a place visited or seen on TV; a relationship observed or read about in a novel; a state of being that a relative, friend or colleague appears to have. Sometimes we have had a glimpse of something or a moment of peace and contentment that we want more of. I call these ‘as good as it gets moments’ or ‘glimpses of glory’.

On August 6th we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration, that strange almost dreamlike episode from Jesus’ life. A glimpse of glory, a vision of the divine, a dramatic moment of peace and contentment. The disciples tried to capture the moment by building booths – we take photos or videos – but the moment was not for capturing.

Our dreams may come true, we may have ‘as good as it gets moments’, but generally we cannot bottle them and preserve them. They are to be lived and experienced not imprisoned. After the Transfiguration Jesus went back down the mountain to the everyday world of work and life and confusion and pain and joy to carry on his ministry.

It is good to hope, it is great to experience something of our dreams, but we also need to live the everyday perhaps seeking the dreamlike, the hopeful and the joyous amidst the ordinariness of so much of our lives.

I hope to have some ‘as good as it gets moments’ in France later this summer relaxing with the family on the terrace of a cottage on a small farm in the Dordogne, sipping chilled white wine, watching the sun set behind the hills and listening to the birdsong dancing on the warm breeze. I hope all of us wherever we are whoever we are with will have our own glimpses of glory this summer and be energised and renewed – it might be on holiday or catching up with friends, but lets also look for those moments in the everyday as well and give thanks to God for them.

David McCoulough

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Last revised 9th July 2005