Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Ignoring the sign posts

When we are young, time seems to go ever so slowly. I remember as a child, the nine week break we got from school seemed to last forever. The end of June till the end of August seemed to take forever. Often times those days were filled with busyness. Our family would go on vacation for a couple of weeks. My birthday was right in the middle of this time. The end of July and early August meant that the local fairs and exhibitions were on. Mid August meant that it was time to go shopping for new clothes and school supplies. But those 9 weeks seemed to last forever.

Now nine weeks moves much more quickly. How many people have said to me, "I can't believe it is Easter already." Easter is a bit later than normal this year- yet people still seem surprised that it is here already.  Time seemingly has moved too fast. How did time get so speedy?

Maybe this might explain. When I was growing up, each year, maybe twice in a year, we would make the 760 kilometre trip from our house to my grandmother's house. When we were little, we would look at each sign post and proclaim the distance- its now 426 kilometres, now its 388 kilometres, and so on. The signposts indicated that our journey's end was getting closer.  However, in a way, it made the journey seem ever so long. We became aware of how many small bits it took to get to the final destination.

When we got older as children. we stopped looking at the sign posts between our house and grandma's house. The post at kilometer 426 was still there, but we knew that it was just one of many. We became used to what 8 to 12 hours (depending on traffic, length of gas stops, food stops, bathroom breaks) in the car felt like. The journey was still just as long but we had adjusted

I think all of us adapt to time just as we children did in the car. Even though Easter is a moveable feast, it is always between 3 and 3 and a half months after Christmas. When we are children we mark all the special days of the year as big events. In Canada, as a child, I knew that the following special days would occur: New Years Day, going back to school, Epiphany, Valentine's Day, Family Day, Shrove Tuesday, the first of March (where we wondered if spring would come in like a lion or a lamb), St. Patrick's Day and the first day of spring.  We marked each sign post between New Year's and spring, and so Easter was never a surprise. As we get older though, we those little celebrations seem less significant. We have eaten many Shrove Tuesday suppers. We have gone through many St. Patrick's Day celebrations. And so because we ignore these signposts, Easter can catch us unaware. Blessings

Lenten blessings
Friday March 31st- I give thanks for ministerial colleagues
Saturday April 1st- I give thanks for April Fool's humour which brightens our news pages
Sunday April 2nd- I give thanks for the time change, which helps us to remember to be aware of our time
Monday April 3rd- I give thanks for the ability to get to know my congregation better through our pub ministtry
Tuesday April 4th- I give thanks for the work of other congregations in this area of Sydney
Wednesday April 5th- I give thanks for the seagulls and the laughter that they caused as people tried to shoo them away from their food
Thursday April 6th- I give thanks that I have been blessed to be in ministry now for one half of my life. It has been an honour and a privilege.

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