Church of England Diocese of Leicester Burbage with Aston Flamville

Thought for the day - Monday 4th May

4 May 2020, 10 a.m.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “Let Adversity be thy Friend”

4th May 2020

As we reach the midpoint of our 6th or is it 7th week of lock-down (I’m beginning to lose count) there are, understandably, increased calls from many quarters for an exit strategy which will return us to normal life as soon as possible. However, will the “normal” of the future be the same as the one before Covid 19? Well that remains to be seen but my hope is that it won’t. Out of this crisis have come so many pointers about how to care for our planet and for each other in the future.

I found myself musing on these the other day and couldn’t help but feel that God, or nature as some prefer to believe, is trying to tell us something.

Thinking about the benefits to our environment I came up with:

1. Cleaner air caused by fewer vehicles on the road and fewer aircraft in the sky.

2. Fewer cars on the roads meaning shorter journey times for our essentials and less frustration as a result.

3. The, often obscenely rich, oil producers of the world have seen the price of their product become almost worthless prompting them, perhaps, to reflect on how they have spent their wealth in the past and how they might be more philanthropic in future.

4. The Canals of Venice have run clear as a result of the reduced traffic using them.

5. The newly hatched turtles of South America and other locations have been safely crossing roads instead of being decimated by the ubiquitous automobile.

Adversity often brings out the best in people and this pandemic has been no exception. Examples we all witness are:

1. People being extra kind and considerate to each other by observing the lock-down and coming out in the thousands every Thursday evening to applaud the NHS and all key workers.

2. Capt. Tom Moore who will be 100 years old tomorrow has inspired enough people by his gritty perambulations to raise over £29 million for the NHS and with Michael Ball and the NHS Voices for Care Choir has achieved a charity Number 1 single. How absolutely and unbelievably brilliant!

3. Our appreciation of the beauty of God’s creation has been greatly enhanced by enforced time in our gardens. Whilst our behaviour has had to change, Nature just gets on with what it does best.

4. The number of quizzes being held each week is bound to have increased everyone’s general knowledge. And it is not just quizzes. I learned a new word last week “medicant” thanks to Nick’s reflection on Claire of Assisi.

5. People are discovering new skills and things to enjoy. As someone who had never boiled an egg in his life I have discovered the joys of cooking.

6. Church attendances through things like Zoom and Facebook are 10 times higher than actual church attendances before the pandemic.

7. Crime is way down.

8. Judging by the number of joggers I see whenever I venture out (for a walk) a lot of people are going to be a lot fitter than before.

In short, we have been able to concentrate on the golf balls. I refer to Fr. Terry’s sermon a few months ago when he proceeded to place golf balls, gravel, sand and water into a glass jar. The golf balls represented the important things in life like family and friends and by putting those into the jar first all of the other items fitted in too. When we deal with the gravel, sand and water first, i.e. the smaller more insignificant items, there was no room left in the jar for all of the golf balls.

There will be many other benefits that this challenge has brought about and I know not every development has been a good one. However, I feel there is enough good going on to be ultra-positive and to be thankful for our blessings.

God bless you all and I look forward to the day when we can all share the Peace in person.

John Bevington

P.S. A small though none-the-less significant outcome for an eco-church like St Catherine’s is the paper saving that the Zoom meetings have facilitated. Perhaps it is time to look at some form of IT solution for our services once we return to our beloved Church.