The telephone is the fruit

of the tree of the knowledge

of good and evil. We may call

everyone up on it but God.


Lines from 30 years ago, apparently prescient of smartphone technology. Now I’m typing this blog post on a wirelessly connected laptop, and if an R.S.Thomas wrote these lines today it would be the Internet as forbidden fruit of knowledge, but that would be to lose the meaning of the title and make a different poem altogether.  🙂

Priest & poet, R.S.Thomas would have known about calling. Working to put together our new Cumbria Christian Learning website here at, we’ve been filling our Vocations pages with links and information to help Christians in Cumbria identify their calling

I hope we’ve all had the reward of learning from a teacher whose vocation it is to teach. It’s great to know that our teachers at Cumbria Christian Learning are committed in their vocations, equipping and enabling lay and ordained ministry in Mission Communities.

For some it’s not so easy to know what our vocations are, or to recognise that our vocations change as we grow and learn. There’s more information about opportunities for vocational service in your church at:

R.S.Thomas’s poem is from a collection “Experimenting with an Amen” (1986), an examination of his own side of a dialogue with God.  Elsewhere in that book he speaks of his “Prayers like gravel  / / flung at the sky’s / window, hoping to attract / / the loved one’s / attention”. He had trouble with his calling at times, and I have trouble with the end of his poem. I feel it has to do with the necessity to push ourselves forward in God’s eyes, and to take risks. Check it out: Calling by R.S.Thomas.


Author: James Bober

Administrator, CCL

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