Throughout Terms 2 and 3, our Year 11 students lead Chapel in their House Groups, which was an opportunity for both the exercise of their leadership and for them to model what is important for them in this weekly space given over to faith and spirit. I have been heartened to see that most House Groups have maintained the practice of leaving time for quiet reflection. This has been a recent development in Chapel in which I, as Chaplain, cease talking and just allow students to sit in quiet contemplation, sometimes to music gently playing, even in silence. Students genuinely appreciate these moments.
And how much do we all need such moments? Once it was just the TV that stole our time and attention. But you didn’t carry the TV with you. Now TV has been joined by laptops, iPads and the ever-present mobile phone. My own ‘quiet time’ practice is a walk on the beach, or swim when the weather heats up. I am fortunate to have the beach nearby. But I notice most people who pass me by on the sand or who sit in cars parked to take in the view of the horizon do so with their mobile phones in their hands! Leave it at home! It’s what you are there to get away from. If you miss an important call from the Prime Minister, he’ll ring back!
In House Public Speaking this week, one Year 12 student speaker pointed out that we are each – every one of us - given 86,400 seconds each day. He invited us to imagine these as dollars in the bank. How would we be if someone robbed us of 120 of these? That’s two minutes! Don’t let them be stolen. Preserve those precious seconds in that long day in a moment of quiet. Do it now! That’s where God may be found – experienced even.
The benefits are far-reaching.
Rev Phil Hoffmann