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Thought for the day


April's Thought for the day

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1 April 2020Local Lay Minister Susan Heads shares her thoughts of how the unfolding events, in light of the Corona-virus (Covid-19) measures, are affecting her and offers encouragement and insight through our faith in Jesus Christ.

“Pinch, and a punch, it’s the first of the month”, a little ritual observed in the Heads household for decades. So far this year, I am winning 2 -1, I caught Simon with a nip on the arm on the first of January and February, and he caught me on the first of March. As I type this, Simon is still asleep, and I will be off to the office as soon as I log off, so this month will have to be treated as a draw.
I paused for a moment as I turned the page on the wall calendar in the kitchen to April. We have one of those year planners with a line for each day. The first half of March was as busy as usual (as were January and February) with 2 or 3 entries for every week. An event I was intending to go to on the 14 March had a line thought it, as did every other event for the rest of the month, except for 8am Morning Prayer on the 15 March 2020 – the last time I set foot in church.
The few entries on the calendar for April are already crossed through, but I don’t want to think, or look, too far ahead, that could get depressing. Instead, I spent a few moments at the kitchen door before I went out to the shed to get some bread from the outside freezer, and (despite the cold) the sight of the frost glistening on the grass, the sunlight streaming through the branches of the trees, birds swooping and diving overhead – uninterrupted by the sound of planes and cars, then I came in and admired Simon’s lettuces, which have put on another spurt since yesterday (no sign of the tomato plants yet though) and I reminded myself how much we had to be thankful for, in the little things in life, which are really the big things if we only give them space to grow in the world around us and in our hearts. So, no “pinch and a punch” this month – it would be impossible with social distancing anyway, and even then, the first priority would have to be to wash our hands.
2 April 2020Local Lay Minister Susan Heads shares her thoughts of how the unfolding events, in light of the Corona-virus (Covid-19) measures, are affecting her and offers encouragement and insight through our faith in Jesus Christ.

Yesterday was just an ordinary day in the office, except of course, that “ordinary” it was not. I am used to working in the office on my own. Before merging my practice in 2016, my Sunday routine involved going to the 8 o’clock service at Ash, then setting going into the office to do all the things I had not been able to do during the busy working week, without the phone or people popping in to interrupt me.
The conversations I was having with colleagues yesterday all at that “edge” that the coronavirus has brought to our working lives. We are used to working under pressure – that comes with the territory – but we can usually call upon our past experiences of similar situations, and problem sharing with each other, to find a way through. But there are no similar past experiences that we can use as benchmarks for the problems we are facing now. Although some parallels have been drawn with the banking crisis in 2008, this – to me - feels very different. The parallel I would draw, and I am much older than the majority of my work colleagues, is with the oil crisis and wide spread strikes led to “three day week” in the early 1970s, when transport, the postal service (which was vital in the pre-internet age) and even the power supply more or less came to a halt. We got through it, but only by being prepared to adapt and change the way we worked. The effects were profound and real, but flexibility had to come into our working lives if we were survive.
People in leadership roles at the moment, in government, in commerce and industry, and in all aspects of public and our private lives have some unenviable decisions to make, and I felt disappointed to hear on the news this morning, that grumbles have started to be voiced, that “so and so” needs to be held to account…. “so and so” needs to do something, or has not done something. We need to face the face that it is going to be impossible to get it right first time every time, mistakes will be made, and there will probably be a time when the dust settles to look back and determine whether things could have been done better, in the meantime, the words of my Dad’s favourite hymn come to mind
“Guide me Oh my great Redeemer, pilgrim through this barren land; I am weak but Thou are mighty, hold me with thy powerful hand”.
I pray that all those who are in leadership roles, with the tough decisions to take, will be guided by God, and the decisions they make will be – if not always the “right” ones with the benefit of hindsight, at least the wisest, and best decisions possible, in light of the situations before them, and in the meantime, lets also remember to keep washing our hands.
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