Old Meeting House Congregational Church (1643)

The Best Hidden Church in Norwich

Change Your Thinking, Change your life

My wife is always telling me that I have too many books and that I need to get rid of some, but which ones? Many books these days only remain in print for a year or two so if you discard them from your bookshelf that might be the last you ever see of them!

However, there are some books that never seem to go out of print. The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is one of those titles. It was written by Harvard University psychologist and philosopher William James. It comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on natural theology, which were delivered at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland in 1901 and 1902. I was first introduced to it when I was studying Religious Education at Durham in the early 1970’s.

I have found that many of the things he writes about are full of insight and wisdom. “The more we live by our intellect, the less we understand the meaning of life.”  This quote lead me to pick up a book written by Brother Lawrence (1611 – 1691). Who wrote the following – “I DO NOT pray that you may be delivered from your troubles, but I pray to God earnestly that He would give you strength and patience to bear them as long as He pleases…Happy are those who suffer with Him. The men of the world do not comprehend these trusts, nor is it to be wondered at, since they suffer as lovers of the world, and not as lovers of Christ.

Men of the world consider sickness as a pain of nature, and not as from God. They see it only in that light. They find nothing in it but grief and distress. But those who consider sickness as coming from the hand of God, as an effect of His mercy, and the means which He employs for their salvation – such find in it great consolation.”

Our modern world tends to only look at the surface, we limit our understanding to our minds but over the years I have come to realise that God is far bigger than our human minds!


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