As I write, the end of restrictions have been postponed to 19th July, and a lot of planned events and reopenings have been cancelled or postponed. The desire is still to lift the restrictions at the end of July. August will offer the hope for events to resume. There are still a lot of people wanting to catch up on significant events that have had to be postponed like birthday celebrations, anniversaries and weddings. People studying for GCSE and A levels are expecting the results of the teacher assessments. This marks the end of a year and a half of disrupted education and a difficult time of study and hard work. The provisional future choices depend on the success or failure of these assessments. With more people taking a holiday in this country the traffic at weekends in August could involve a lot of time waiting in traffic queues. Many people have been counting the days down to the time when they can relax and not worry about work and routine tasks.
August marks the last part of the wait and the realisation of something new. For most of us, the waiting is the worst part and something we are not accustomed to doing. The transformation of communications and distribution networks have revolutionised the time we wait. Most of what we want usually arrives within a week, it is only longer if it comes a long way from overseas. I have noticed on television people do not have to wait a week for the next episode of a drama, often the whole series is available on demand straightaway. It seems where it is possible, waiting times have been reduced dramatically or are not there at all. I have talked to people who have lived overseas in the past, when the only realistic form of communication was airmail letters once a week or fortnight. Now with mobile phones and cheap telephone rates, it costs not much more to phone directly or to use ZOOM to see separated families. It seems we think that the faster things can be done the better we will be. However, there is often a downside, and in this case on the whole more and more is expected of people. This leads to an increase in pressure and expectations. When we become overwhelmed by the pressure, it becomes counterproductive and we become less effective. I think we have lost sight of the fact that doing things more quickly is meant to give us more time so that we appreciate what is around us and not overfill our capacity. As we rush, we miss so much in the world about us and the people we care about.
It is not a surprise that the Bible favours waiting on God for help and guidance. In the Bible, people have to learn to wait for God’s timing which is often much slower than what we expect or would like. We find that patience often leads to a better outcome. I am reminded how patient God must be with me and my constant shortcomings. It is no wonder God wants us to exercise patience, act responsibly and wait for the right time.
Rev. Martin Wood. The Rectory, Church Lane, Cheriton Bishop EX6 6HY 01647 24119 (Tuesday to Sunday) [email protected]