Taking time to think

Driving across the A10 roundabout from Dane End today, my car suddenly cut out. I managed to coast across the roundabout but soon came to an abrupt standstill. Like so many of us these days, I don't have time for things to go wrong. This newsletter piece had to be written; a sermon for tomorrow to be finished, and here I am waiting as countless cars race by. I’ve resorted to typing my newsletter piece into my iPhone with hazard warning lights flashing and misty windows! We buried my sister yesterday. A sad but beautifully uplifting service as we celebrated her life. She was inspirational, my big sister, always fun and full of life, but now she's gone. I miss her.

I’ve been stuck on this roundabout for nearly two hours now. I’m trying to work out what I can learn from a moment like this? Stopping to think is not something I often do…… it seems as if the clocks have all stopped and nothing will ever be the same again. When things once important seem less so, and what really matters is to be found and cherished. Like so many, I cannot imagine life without my wife Jill and our children, but my brother-in-law Paul has just begun a very different life that some of you already understand. Stuck on this roundabout I am resolving to find more time for the most precious things in my life.

Will you find time to think of God? My sister had many questions, but struggled if I’m honest, to find all the answers. However, for the last week of her life she grasped a ‘holding cross’ tightly in her hand. I felt God was always near to her. The one who shines the sun upon us; who inspires our 'hopeless' moments that we might stop and remember what matters most. Soon a friend, who is very busy in his day, will stop what he is doing to help me. I imagine my desperate phone call arrived when he least needed it, but he said yes to helping me. I will never forget those who say yes to helping me when I most need it. I am certain that God always hears our prayers and He sends people to help us every day and sends us to help others on the other days.

I wonder what kind of encouragement you need today. On two Sundays in November, remembering will be central to our church life. At 3pm on Sunday 6th November at St. Mary's we have our annual ‘Service of Memories’. A chance to remember loved ones who have died recently or a long time ago but are still central in our thoughts. Why not come and let us read out their name and light a candle in their memory? Then on Sunday 13th at 10.45am, our Remembrance Service at St. Mary's will take centre stage with our Uniform Groups and wider community sharing in this thankful service. You will be warmly welcomed as always to this service or to our remembrance services at All Saints (9.15am) or St Catherine’s (3pm).

Alan Comfort, Rector