Bereft

It’s been a tiring and emotional few days, as I’ve journeyed with others to see a good friend inducted to their new post.

With my history of blood clots I don’t travel well, so I am grateful to the driver who has got us here and driven us between places. Sadly my leg has not coped well, and I find myself feeling quite sore and uncomfortable and a little nervous of the journey home.

I’m delighted for my friend and colleague because they have so definitely found what is right for them. They are happy, and full of all the possibilities in the call that has been laid before them.

Selfishly I feel bereft. This person is not quite the most important man in my life, but they are someone in whom I have placed my trust and with whom
I have journeyed through difficult and good times. We met on my first day at university and have grown together.

For me he has been a good friend- always at the end of the phone, part of the family, contributor to sermon fodder. And I hope I have been that for him too.

Now he won’t just appear at the door and add himself to the tea table or find a coffee. Life will be different and we will adapt.

Phone bills will now grow more expensive and maybe I now have a good excuse for some travelling to new destinations.

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Muffin Tops

There were blueberries in the fridge so I thought I would make muffins. There was no buttermilk so I made my own. In the picture they look like this…

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All the instructions were carefully followed and yet mine look different. I’m not sure where I have gone wrong. They taste fine though…

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Choice

There is nothing worse than having to choose between two equally attractive options. Standing in front of the chocolate in the sweet aisle can lead to a good 15 minute thought, as the variety of options are mulled over. Will today be the day for the filling stickiness of a Mars Bar or the smooth creaminess slipping over the tongue of a Dairy Milk? Sometimes it is just easier to choose Dolly Mixtures or mints.

Sometimes choices can’t be avoided. Having made the lists of pros and cons and not being able to see the space between, sometimes you have to place the choice in the hands of others and with faith trust that the choice made is the one to go with.

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Making the negative a positive

Last Sunday’s attendance at worship was not good. The congregation I serve still has a good number of people who come to church, and so when the attendance drops it can seem quite dramatic. May is a month when the numbers begin to drop as families begin their summer activities and as the retired begin to take their holidays.

However on this occasion, while those two elements were part of it, the lack of attendance was significantly boosted by a 5k happening elsewhere in the locale.

The thing about 5k walks for charity is that they attract people from churches. Many of those involved in church life are involved in charitable activity as Parton their Christian service. So it is a natural extension of their faith to get involved.

Of course 5k walks always seem to happen at times when there is a belief that people will be available. And in a world where church attendance as not seen as a priority then the free time seems to be a Sunday morning.

I could rant and rave about how I think worship is important and it frustrates me that people treat so casually the time they could spend building a relationship with God and others, but I won’t. Instead I’m thinking about turning the negative into a positive. So on the day of the Moonwalk, as I know I am about to lose a sizeable number as they will only just be finishing as worship starts, maybe I need to encourage the congregation to have an evening service for the walkers and supporters. But more than that, if people want to walk 5k, maybe we need to organise our own somewhere in the parish. I’ve a code of possible green spaces, so I’m thinking and will start to look at the possibilities as next week begins its wander into life.

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Voting Right

Across the country there are various elections taking place as people make decisions about local government. Campaigning is supposed to have been happening around the area over the last few weeks, and yet today is the first time that I have met any of the local candidates.

I plan to vote, and have had no doubt that I would be heading to the polling station. It is in my psyche that voting is important no matter how frustrated I might be with politicians, as I recognise and appreciate the freedom of choice we have within our country. I find myself slightly concerned though as to how to vote as I know very little about what each pay is standing for locally.

Now lest you think that I have no political affiliation, I do. But in local elections I have on occasion in the past been swayed by a particular person or policy that seemed to suit the community in which I was living. With nothing to look at and having no physical encounter with the policies of any party, I may be undecided before I walk down the road, and heaven help us if I have to resort to the “eeny, meeny, miny, mo” principle.

In our area the same party has got in time and time again, and I suspect that the lack of campaigning is a sign that people think it is a done deal. No politician should ever assume that it is a done deal, for a political party’s reputation is only ever as good as the campaigning and working out of policies the represent.

The local evening paper last night reminded readers,

…be sure to vote. And…vote for the person and not the party. It does not matter what rosette they are wearing. What matter is whether they have the commitment and intelligence for the role.”

In part I agree. A politician should be committed to their role, and be able to be thoughtful in what the hope to contribute. But the colour of the rosette does matter, for each of us is tainted by. The history and continuing mission of those we seek to represent. No politician is able to truly stand for their own policies and values if they are part of a political party, and instead find themselves going with the flow rather than cause a rumpus.

So now I think I need to do a little research and see who is standing for what locally, so I can make an informed choice. But the lack of campaigning my way makes me feel uneasy – for it makes me wonder who the politicians have decided that they need to persuade, and if they think a sure thing lies ahead with a possible low turn out.

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