From the Licensed Lay Minister - 22nd June 2020

How my outlook on life has changed in the last three months.

Three months ago I would hardly have recognised myself! I was rushing to work four times a week, struggling with the major roadworks on the A350, which always made me either very early or very late – never on time, trying to fit more into four hours than was possible, looking after a disabled husband and running a home. Sometimes I despaired – I just seemed to do everything badly because there was never enough time to do it well.

Now, with no travelling, no roadworks, and an entirely different way of managing both the office and services, it is all possible. I am calm and mostly collected, my IT skills have grown exponentially and my conscience has gone on holiday. Time has expanded. All those little jobs, both at home and in the office which had been conveniently put off – sometimes for years – were now done and dealt with. Kitchen cupboards with items time expired in 2006 are now much more roomy, the odd housekeeping jobs on the office computer which needed a solid block of time with no interruptions, have now been achieved – really my halo is shining brightly.

Even better, there has been time for so much enjoyment. As well as working in my garden I have made time to rest on my long chair, to actually enjoy watching my flowers come out, to work at my needlepoint with a clear conscience – no little voice asking me why I am doing that when countless other things should have a higher priority – even the birds seem to be singing more sweetly.

I am only too well aware that this time has not been like this for everyone and I am so glad that I don’t live in a 15th floor flat in a city. We have been very blessed here in the West Country, with low levels of pandemic infection but the daily reports on the radio and television keep in our minds how badly others are faring. Is it fanciful to imagine that God is appreciating that his world is experiencing lower levels of pollution and noise? Is that why the birds seem so happy this year? Is it a reminder to us that our span on earth is but a blink in God’s eye and that we must therefore make good use of our time here.

Jo Johnson
Licensed Lay Minister