Vicar's letter August / September 2019
As I write our country is in a time of waiting; for the outcome of leadership elections, for a conclusion to “Brexit”, for signs of a more stable and secure society. This time of waiting is reflected in our work places and in our homes as we wait; for exam results, for new babies, for medical test results, for news of loved ones. How good are we, I wonder, at waiting?
From the earliest times of our lives we learn that we sometimes have to wait for things, but our developing knowledge of technology and engineering has made so many things instantly accessible for us that we may have lost some of the skills for waiting that our ancestors had. We are prepared to wait when we are certain of the outcome (and how long the wait will be), but we find it more of a challenge to wait with uncertainty.
Waiting well with uncertainty requires us to hold on to hope and to maintain a balance that does not allow our imagined negative outcomes to overshadow the possible positive ones. It also asks that we accept our place in waiting, to realise that we cannot make the time less or more, and to be patient.
Our need to learn patience is something that we have in common as members of our communities. We can learn together to be patient with one another, and with the outside influences that touch our lives. And, we can learn to be patient with ourselves. Such patience may involve good listening, where we really seek to “hear” the heart of the matter. It may involve kindness, as we allow each other to be who we are. It may involve acceptance of situations or of people. It may be that we need to “stay calm and carry on” until the appearance of that time of stability, for which so many of us long.
When St Paul wrote to the newly formed church in Galatia he urged them to “not become weary of doing good, for at a proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” As we continue to journey through our times of waiting, let us not become weary of doing good either, but go on in hope and patience towards the harvest that lies ahead.
With my prayers as we wait,
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