STOCKMAN ON PAUSE FOR THOUGHT WITH VANESSA FELTZ
REVERSING OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY (for Caitlin and Jasmine)

AN INKLING OF WHAT IT IS ABOUT... ON BALLYCASTLE BEACH

Jani and Jed on beach

This was my Pause For Thought on Vanessa Feltz, BBC Radio 2 on September 18, 2019. The theme was The Still Small Voice...

 

The north coast of Northern Ireland has been in the spotlight recently. Not only Game Of Thrones but the British Open golf. The Open was played in Portrush. As a child I loved Portrush. It was loud and bright and busy. Amusements, Rollercoaster, big beaches.

Ballycastle along the coast, I really did not like. It seemed a little dull. Yet twenty years later my wife and I bought a house there because it was cheaper. And in the last twenty years I have come to love the quieter town… smaller… less crowded… more scenic beach views.

We live in a bright loud world and being still and reflective has become a lost art, a rarity, a very difficult task. Almost by default Ballycastle beach has become my meditative space. In the late evening we walk across the beach and marvel at the sunsets behind Kinbane Head and Rathlin Island.

It is on these walks that I hear most God’s still small voice. This is where my body, heart and soul slow down. When I stop for a deep breath. Here I often have a sense that in a very ordinary evening walk something extraordinary is going on. 

Like a while back. Out for the nightly stroll I looked across at my wife Janice… our beloved dog Jed. I then looked out at Fair Head, our high cliff shelter, all its veins jutting out in strength and beauty.

And the still small voice inside me whispered, “Look Steve… do you get it. This is what the human life is all about”

So I started to ponder. The Christian Bible begins and ends with visions of oneness… between human and human… human and creation… human and God. 

The entire Christian story is based around broken relationships being somehow restored by Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. The still small voice was pointing out that I was getting an inkling of it as I held my wife’s hand and smiled at our dog’s love, and as I inwardly gave thanks for the wonder of creation. 

I then heard the voice of Van Morrison speaking about another part of Northern Ireland, “Wouldn't it be great if it was like this all the time”.

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