There are so many ways we can take wrong turns and so many ways we can make wrong decisions - and the sad thing is, people just keep on doing the wrong stuff regardless. We seem to be regressing as a society and self and selfishness are evident on a daily basis as the world descends into something quite zoo like!
I have never been totally convinced about our 'Christian' status and yet the less obviously Christian our nation is, the more selfish and awful we appear to be! I have always held the view that being 'good' (whatever that means) and doing good things are not the sole province of theists; an atheist can have high moral values and standards without the benefit of faith. But the proof of the pudding is in the experience and I'm beginning to wonder whether eschewing faith merely puts self on the throne after all!
So many places I look I find ourselves descending to being apes rather than descending from them - and it's so very sad.
Today has been a day of many parts. It started with me trying to get out of the door to do some funerals with the telephone ringing off the hook and people arriving at the front door. It was havoc - new policy: If it rings and I'm that place where I need space to get ready, it can go to the answerphone. First challenge to that policy: one of the calls was from a family with someone heading towards the end of life and so it might just be a crisis - should I answer it?
This is ministry in a nutshell: Thick lines drawn around stuff, however well intended, rational and apparently right soon find exceptions and caveats in place. The apparent need apparently needs to be dealt with when it presents itself. What a conundrum that is.
Elsewhere in today's news: what a strange funeral day I had. The FD provided the wrong CD and rather than something fitting and suitable we had something that sounded like the opening of a games show! Fortunately we had a bit of Mario Lanza in the middle on. CD I'd brought with me so we went out to that, so a bit of recovery there. But in another service I ended up with an unexpected bump of another sort and this saw me finish just over the line - but since the time was mine as I was doing multiple services we managed to leave the place with the cloak set back so the planned slots were intact and all was well.
The challenges of running church is to keep everything well-oiled without leaving stains on the fabric or causing people to slip on the stuff. To this end there was a warden's meeting and a meeting with a colleague to enjoy (and I enjoyed them both) before other stuff turned up - and there was still a Bishops Certificate to square away too.
A sadness came in the shape of the apparent death of someone who has struggled for many years - well the apparent is apparently obviously real, but until I get it confirmed by a trustworthy source, it has to be a 'probably' rather than a definitely.
Add to this the normal daily weirdness and it's been a long and challenging day - finally drawing stumps around 23: something.
Lord, I commend the souls of those who have departed this life to your grace, love, care, and mercy. May they rest in peace and rise in glory.
Lord, I comment to you those who live as beasts; may they find something of the nobility of this life and may their standards and their actions be raised that even if they should never know you their lives may have something to commend them and the society they create be something better than it it now.
Lord, I thank 6ou for the joy of learning - may we do more teaching and may we open the eyes of those around us - and our own eyes be opened too - as we dialogue and develop.
Lord, for those whose mental health is a challenge - still broken minds and calm the waves of madness that crash relentlessly in the lives of some. Help us to be a tolerant people and to show love and care where the world generally pays lip service and provides something poor.
And for all the challenges of today, help me to learn and to go forward in love understanding that:
The things we walk past without a murmur are the things we give our approval to.
The actions we remain silent about are the things we have permitted to exist.
Lord, help me always to correct sin, oppose wrong actions, and to stand with (and for) the oppressed, marginalised, and excluded.
For the bread before me, I give you thanks and for the life I have, I praise You.
This place of reflection is here for me to dialogue internally and gain insight and perspective. It first appeared in this current form for some of those looking at creating their own journal as part of the their journey to discerning vocation. The Morning prayer is there also for that same purpose: to create the discipline of prayer. Dialogue, insights and experience of others concerning this entry is always welcome - all grist to the mill.