As you may know, every month - usually on the 3rd Monday - there's a gathering called "Agnostics Anonymous" at the Grampus pub in Lee. Generally, there are about a dozen of us there, but this month I think I counted 22, all in a big circle (well, ellipse, technically) in the back room.
Why so many? Was there nothing else on? Or was it the lure of an overtly theological theme - What is "eternal life"? Whatever, it was a good discussion, without too much raw theology - after all, as the title of the group suggests, there is no assumption here about faith or lack of it. The beauty of these meetings, for me, is knowing that if I start spouting vicar-speak, I'll get short shrift, or at least have to explain myself. And that helps me re-examine what I think and believe.
What I was left with, this time, was a sense that most people find eternity in the here and now - often in things that are small and seemingly insignificant. Things which are easy to miss, like tiny flowers beside the path. Things that make us stop and stare - and wonder.
And (not that I tried to say it like this on the night) this fits well with the Christian understanding that eternal life is not so much an endless stretch of chronological time, but a quality of life that can grip us right now, stopping us in our tracks as we realise that God - his life, his love - is as real now as it will ever be.