Three miles an hour is good!

Another week has gone: for some, it is another week of shielding or self-isolating: do either of those phrases feel positive – they speak of what we are protecting ourselves from, which is not a good way to identify; we want to identify as people who are doing, who are being.

For some, it has been a week when school might have started and didn’t – and so much work from teachers and staff that did not come to fruition. Others are working out covid-secure plans so they can open their business or shop or church – for – Yes – the government all of a sudden said churches could open but not for services, only for private or individual prayer – please see more below on what we are doing.

For some, this week has been dominated by anxious or sad news, not only are people still ill and dying from the virus but others are struggling with cancers and other serious illnesses, and this is even harder when the restrictions make caring harder, and visiting/being with others impossible. Please remember the sick and the struggling in your prayers.

For others, whatever has been happening here, our minds have been on the injustice and the protests and the uncertain outcomes in our country and even more in others. And we may be caught up in strident arguments about the politics and the rightness/wrongness of it all. Please continue to pray for the coming of God’s Kingdom which is of justice and peace – for there is no true peace without justice.

For some, the week has felt like previous weeks .. but we are not sure what the new rules will mean or whether we are safe.

This is the reality – the terrain we traverse at the moment. I hope too we have had good moments and even good days – we have been cheered by a friendly phone call, a chance conversation, the sight of the young king-fishers,  or the woodpeckers, or the knock-kneed calves, whether first-hand or through the photos of others; the excitement of creating a scarecrow for the village and the expectancy of seeing them all; favourite music or films, and most of all precious people who love us and remind us we are loved. I hope we have been able to encourage others, and keep our children positive, keep ourselves hopeful.

There is a wonderful book written by a Japanese theologian – now several decades ago – called “The Three-Mile-an-Hour God”. He argues that we must understand that God is with us in our lives, that God, therefore, goes at walking pace with us, on our journey, alongside us in the everyday. Jesus invites us to take his yoke, harness ourselves up alongside him, to know He is with us each step of the way, each step of the day, and for those who are unable to get out, God is content to be with us as a “no-miles-an-hour God”  with us in our room, with us in how we feel. “Remember I am with you always” were Jesus’ parting words to his disciples.

If we try and live life at a run, we will get tired and weary, but if we can go at God’s pace, walking pace through each day, we can find strength for each day, and we can have a little more time to see and receive those quiet blessings, the gifts of precious moments, and to give them to others.

Walk with me, Lord,
And help me walk with you.
Help me through today, and be there for me tomorrow
Please guide me and guard me
and may I know your peace and your presence.
Walk with me, Lord,
And help me walk with you.