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September 2022 - An Update From yOUR bENEFICE pRIEST

This month’s Ramblings from the Rectory has a travelling theme, mainly because, at the time of writing, Nic and I are about to head off for our first break since moving here in April. When planning a holiday, Nic and I love to look at maps, find places we’d like to visit, work out where the nearest campsites are, the distance between places, the best routes and, quite often, how we can avoid the motorways. A map gives us a vantage point of seeing myriad roads, towns, villages, national parks, mountains, lakes etc., all visible on a much smaller scale. We can view them all. We love to tour, driving down tiny country roads, exploring the countryside in the UK. When we plan, we choose a destination, or area we like, and head there. We may have the Sat Nav on to help get to the final destinations; that last mile or junction or awkward turning. But, usually, Nic is sitting next to me with a road map, looking for extra opportunities to go off route and frequently he’ll say take the next left or right down to such and such. It looks interesting he will say. I’ll duly comply (unless the instruction is given too late for me to turn safely!!) and we head off, the Sat Nav now saying – “You are no longer on your planned route. Smartnav is now recalculating the route to your destination. Your new route of… miles will take you on the… and then it will list the roads, which we will keep ignoring if Nic has a better idea! We keep waiting for the voice to say, “Oh, I give up. You’re on your own!” This sounds like our lives at times as well doesn’t it! Sometimes we have a clear plan about where we are heading and what we are doing – we follow the route exactly. And other times, a different route presents itself – more bends and dips - some because we choose to take them as part of an adventure and other times because life has thrown us a curve ball and we find we either missed a turning and we are looking for a way back or we got off a particular road because what lay ahead were roadworks that would delay us. When we head out on our journey in life, we can plan and we may be successful. But if we choose to also put God in the mix of it all, what does that do? Well, we find that all I’ve mentioned above still happens, but this time we are not alone. We have a heavenly navigator who can point us in the right direction and give us confidence that when it all gets bumpy it will, in the end, be okay and the final destination will still be reached. A children’s hymn used many times over the years called, ‘One more step along the world I go’, has the refrain, ‘And it’s from the old I travel to the new; keep me travelling along with you’. I like the idea of heading off for adventures knowing that God will be a navigator, helping me along and recalculating the route when it’s needed. Whatever your adventures have looked like over the summer, I hope they have given you some rest and relaxation and that where you have needed it, you’ve had support to keep going forward with hope. Remember, if you would like to chat, I’m here for you. Postscript: I’ve not mentioned the garden in my excitement of heading off on holiday! Those of you who have a soft spot for the rectory garden will be pleased to know that the runner beans, potatoes and carrots are delicious and the tomatoes are growing. We will miss being at home but will have returned to care for the garden by the time you read this. With every blessing Teresa

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