Dear Friends and Neighbours,
Two octogenarians were chatting away when one referred to a time in his childhood, to which his quick witted friend exclaimed "My, what a memory you've got". It's always good to build each other up, but I'm not sure that this is the most genteel way of doing so. Sat in a room with a group of students busily working through their examination papers reminds me of that same anxious time in my own childhood. For some exams are a pleasant challenge, for others it is frightening and there are a huge range of reactions in between. It seems odd that when children first come to school we do our best to identify their individual strengths and gifts and then do our best to support those areas where their abilities might be a little different to others. By the time they get to the age of sixteen the system wants to squeeze them through the same examinations in the hope that they all comply to a minimum standard. A bit like sausages coming out of a sausage machine.
Working with a lot of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder required that I went for care on a monthly basis myself. Known as an 'external supervision', my supervisor also looked after the local bus company, caring for staff that had been abused by drunks and others, especially at the weekend. She also lectured on the subject. We were chatting one day about her father's attitude toward her son. He had developed a bit of a wanderlust, travelling the world and picking up work as and when he needed. Her father was of the opinion that he should settle down, get a regular job and start contributing to society. Yet Mia (not her real name) was of the view that people who feel good about themselves tend to produce the best results and that positive motivation always out performed moaning and undermining. Sure enough her son met a girl in Hong Kong and suddenly developed a desire to teach English as a foreign language. He came home took his 'GCSE's, 'A' Levels and then went on to teacher training college. He got the girl and has lived happily ever after.
The number of people that read their first degree in one topic and are now working in a completely different field never ceases to amaze me. Similarly, if we were all farmers who would go fishing, cooking or flying. The variety of plants and wildlife that we live in the midst of, coupled with the seasons that we are so privileged to witness are a constant reminder of the variety that we are called to reflect and to be. It's also an opportunity for thanks and praise. A friend of mine, while flying helicopters for Her Majesty's Armed Forces, came to faith simply because he was stunned by the awesome beauty of flying troops around the Amazonian Rainforests. He said, "It was so amazing and enormous that someone much bigger than any of us must have been at the root of it". So whether you are busy with examinations or simply busy, I pray that you have the time to appreciate the wonder of you and all that is around you.
With best wishes and prayers
If you have anything that you would like our village prayer group to pray for please telephone 790088 or