16th Dec, 23

Positive prompts

The ones that make you feel good about yourself. The ones that keep you on the right side of your conscience. The ones that might involve you stepping out of your comfort zones and may include taking a manageable and considered risk.

Not the ones that take you to the wrong side of your conscience or involve taking risks that over extend you.

The more self-aware we become, the more time and space we give ourselves to reflect and think, the more we recognise that we receive ‘significant’ prompts to do things on a regular basis.

It is as though we are communicating with ourselves and our brain is telling us to do things that are good for us.       

Many years ago, on a course at night school, I was taught by an old journalist and he encouraged everyone in the class to read the three UK broadsheet newspapers every day. His argument being that if we did, it would give us the best chance of gaining a broad perspective on whatever subjects were in the news that day.

Last week 7th December in The Times I read an article about the world-renowned musician Paul Simon who at the age of 82 has released a new piece of music called Seven Psalms. In the article he talks about how he was prompted in a dream and this is what he said. “I had a dream so vivid it made me get up in the middle of the night and write it down. A voice said, ‘You are meant to be working on a piece called Seven Psalms.’ My first thought was that I should look up the word “psalm” in the dictionary and then read the psalms in the Bible, but I still had no idea what I was supposed to do. I thought, well, since it’s not my idea anyway because it came in a dream, I don’t have to do anything. I’ll just wait.”

Paul Simon had a choice, he could have ignored or dismissed the prompt that had come to him, but had he done that, he would have missed out on what the journalist whose piece it is suggests to be “Paul Simon’s greatest album in decades.”

Six weeks ago, Saturday night 28th October I had a dream like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. At 60 years of age having been an atheist my whole life and never having been to church other than for the weddings of friends I had the most vivid dream and in it I was told to go to church.

I was prompted to go to church.

I decided not to ignore the prompt and the following morning I went to church. My local church, Hill Cliffe Baptist church, Warrington where I was welcomed warmly by everyone I met.

Never having witnessed a Baptist service, I was surprised at how expressive many of the congregation were in the singing and prayer and I was a little bit taken aback and then the lesson began.

The Minister taking the service had chosen to speak about Paul who in the words of the Minister was “recognised as a mentor in the early Christian church.”

At this point I became a bit overwhelmed. I felt as though my dream was carrying on.

Having worked as a coach and mentor much of my adult life and to find here at 60 years of age, in church for the first time as the result of a dream, the service dedicated to the subject of my working life was too much of a coincidence for me to dismiss.

As a result, in the space of these past 6 weeks, my life has changed.

I have been to church each Sunday since and have made a big group of new friends, I have attended a weekly night class called Alpha that introduces the subject of faith and for the first time in my life I have read the New Testament.   

To say I have amazed myself and those who know me is an understatement. Some members of my family are even a bit shaken by it. But I am taking it gently and enjoying and appreciating every moment of it. And this is the result of recognising and accepting and following a positive prompt that came to me.

At 60 years of age, for the first time in my life, I am at the very beginning of my journey into faith.

And I recommend wholeheartedly to anyone, Paul Simon’s Seven Psalms. It is a beautiful thing.

Back to Blog