Welcome to my winding quest which seeks the pathways of God in the life of the world today.
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart
And try to love the questions themselves.
Do not seek answers, which cannot be given to you
because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything,
live the questions now.
Perhaps you will gradually,
without noticing it,
live along some distant day,
into the answer.
Ranier Maria Rilke
I grew up in a fishing community in Devon from generations of sea-farers going back over 200 years. After university in Oxford in 1960s I became a Baptist minister for the next 40 years serving churches in Cardiff, Great Missenden, Leicester and Bath. The pastoral ministry has been the core work of my life and although I have left that role, the calling to be a minister of the Gospel of Christ is still part of how I understand myself. These days I worship with Christians in the small Leicestershire village where I live.
Throughout my life I have always felt moved to challenge and question the path that I follow. I grew up with a Christian world-view and I am still wondering what that means in our contemporary world. What it does mean is that I follow Jesus and I am committed to explain the reasons for my faith through a lifestyle based on prayer, social justice and the scriptural tradition.
In my time I have been a bus conductor, radio broadcaster, member of the Iona Community and a devoted but often disappointed fan of Plymouth Argyle FC.
I have written two books; one on my experiences in the West Bank Thin Places (1999), the other is called Seeking Faith, Finding God (2007), and had my own column in the Baptist Times.
I have been part of the Retreat Movement since the 1980s and regularly lead retreats and offer a ministry of spiritual direction both to individuals and churches. I do not work with a particular programme but I offer a listening faith and an exploring mind.
Who am I writing for?
I’m writing this blog as a way of questioning and revealing the mix of faith, imagination, God and world that I am discovering.
I hope that what I say will be of interest to anyone but as I write I have in mind the contemplative person.
The sort of woman or man who watches and wonders what might be going on. A person who may not be able to state all that they believe in a formal way but realises there is more to life than meets the eye and seek to have a faith in the God who is in the midst of the complexities of our personal and community experiences.
I write for the imaginative, and for those who wish they could be more imaginative.
I write to give a reader something to think about over the day.
I write for those on retreat.
I write an invitation to pray.
I’m called John Rackley and the young canine in my family is Dougal. You can contact me at: jcr49[a]hotmail.com or by posting a comment on this blog.