Look at this lady with all the time in the world to complete the weaving of this piece of rug. What would have been the thoughts running through her from one hour to the next hour? Or is she so focussed in getting the pattern and knots right that she can only pay attention to her work?

Twenty five years ago I  had visited a spacious factory where all sorts of crafts and works of art were being produced and sold. That was in Suzhou, a city famous for her beautiful women.

In this recent visit to Xian, the ancient city, we had been taken to this factory before our visit to the exhibition of terra cotta warriors. There were so many items being sold. You only needed to look for an item and chances are you would find it – jade, porcelain, Chinese paintings, jewellery, carpets, clothes, tea leaves . . . It would have brought me much delight when I was younger and very much with the world.  But this visit for me was spent looking only at the works of art with deep appreciation since time had been allocated. The desire to buy so as to own an article was no longer an issue to content with. Have I grown in maturity? I should like to think so and thank God for that because it was never always like this. Then, in my youth, there was often the need to buy more and more and more. . . it seemed like a compulsion of sorts. Today Christ takes first place and the grace to be more and more detached is being given. Praise God!

May the Divine Weaver keep track of the patterns of my life. May he make of my life a blessed one with my vision fixed on the things above – all that is holy, pure, perfect, good and noble. Amen.