Reflections: Rev Richard Baxter

The Rev Richard Baxter
The Rev Richard Baxter
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RECENTLY, I faced up to one of my fears.

Plucking up my courage, I went into a mobile phone shop to get a new phone.

I wasn’t brave enough to go by myself. I took my daughter to translate the salesperson’s descriptions into something resembling plain English.

After a reasonably painless (but inevitably expensive) trip, I came away with a shining new phone.

Then came the challenge of learning to use it. Until now, I have been able tomake and receive calls, and send texts.

I knew in theory I could play music or take pictures, but could never remember how to do it.

My old phone was probably capable of lots of useful things, but I never learned to do them. In truth, I was glad to see the back of it.

Its replacement is much simpler to use. Even I can manage it.

It’s a radical improvement that I no longer take countless photographs of the inside of my pocket by accidentally bumping buttons.

A world of new possibilities has opened up.

I have learned how to get travel directions and to store books, I can access email and Facebook, as well as calls and texts. There’s a compass to help me if I get lost and flashlight for dark corners.

I realise I still have a lot to learn, but I’m discovering new ways of keeping in touch with family and friends, and enjoying the opportunities to have far better communication.

For many people, their experience of communicating with God is like my old phone.

They are vaguely aware the possibilities exist but they’ve never actually tried for themselves or worked out how to do it.

But we’re not limited to the old ways, like the prayers we might have known in childhood or at school, although they still have their uses. However we choose to communicate, God is listening.

Personally, I’d rather go for a walk than get on my knees, share my thoughts with God in everyday language instead of using antiquated words, and ask

God to listen in to what I’m thinking rather than speak out loud. But you can communicate your way, and still be sure He’s listening. Just don’t miss out on getting in touch because you’ve never tried for yourself.