As the summer draws to a close we can reflect on some important and memorable moments. From a national perspective, we have watched world championships in netball and football, we have pushed hard to be the world champions and come close. However, we did succeed in winning the cricket world cup, but only just. On a personal level, we may have attended an academic celebration like an end of school service or graduation ceremony. There have been balls and school proms which involved new smart clothes and lots of excitement. It might be family members have done well in their GCSE exams or A levels and we joined in a celebration of their success. The summer also brings the wedding season and the celebration of milestones and anniversaries, which are key moments to gather together and have a party.
These many and varied ceremonies and celebrations are both important and significant. They are important because they acknowledge the hard work and effort that was required to succeed and achieve that result or that moment in life. They are significant because they become part of the narrative of one’s life story. Life is more often than not a bit of a struggle and hard work, it is very important to celebrate and make the most of the happy and successful times. These are often stepping stones in our lives as we move from one phase to a new one. It can be both exciting and frightening in equal measure. We can take strength from the fact that there have been people we know in the same position as us who have been able to make the transition and succeed, we all need a little faith.
As we journey through life, we encounter the stepping stones where we have to step out into the unknown, we have to trust and believe that what we are doing will succeed. It has a resonance with our faith and belief in God. We often cannot fully know and understand. We are left to trust and believe. It is not blind faith, we can draw on our experience and the experience of others. It can give us the confidence to step out and be assured that we are supported and encouraged in the new adventure before us. We should not be afraid of failing. To not try something new is to fail already! Even if things turn out differently than we expect we still grow through the experience and gain new insights into ourselves. Our course through life is never a simple straight forward process, it is full of ups and downs and changes of direction. Our relationship with God can be similar. Yet, we know that when we do the right things and make good choices, God is encouraging and supporting us each step of the way. If things go wrong and we struggle, we can ask God for help and find new direction and purpose in life. We need to step out into new adventures.
Rev. Martin Wood. The Rectory, Church Lane, Cheriton Bishop EX6 6HY 01647 24119 (Tuesday to Sunday) firstname.lastname@example.org