Thought for the Day No. 17

Thought for the Day No. 17

From our Chaplain, Canon Graham Bettridge

We are fearfully and wonderfully made – Psalm 139

In “Auguries of Innocence” William Blake spoke of ‘to see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, to hold infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour’.

Everything was carefully prepared, he breathed a great sigh slipping into his seat with the extra leg room waiting for take off and the gin and tonic to follow. His desk was clear, all
appointments up to date and what was left did not really matter, nothing left to go wrong now. As the aircraft climbed over the airfield he happened to glance down and there in the
car park with the headlights blazing, his new vehicle. When he awoke next day in the lovely sunshine, this picture recurred constantly. This tiny thing, his failure as he saw it,
was allowed to ruin his thoroughly prepared for and well deserved holiday.

We can be very hard on ourselves when we think we have failed the high expectations we demand.

The robust Chaucer in its original old English was engrossing Mark as he absent-mindedly took the motorist’s money for his petrol. He had done a degree in archaeology but never really settled to any work to do with that discipline. Preferring to absorb fancy and fable in a world he could call his own, working in the garage gave plenty of time for that. A
talented singer, Chaucer’s tales suited him well; he pointed to a passage ‘to wynne silver/as he ful well kould; Ther fore he soong the muryerly and loude’. A good description
both humorous and accurate. A carefree bachelor minstrel..
Mark explained Tectonic (in its original Greek, a carpenter) to me; that is the name given to the moving parts of our physical world. Tectonic plates diverge, that is separate, converge, that is come together and the third movement is side by side. This is the description of what is around us and underneath us, it helps me to realise that nothing and no-one is permanently unchangeable. The bed rock of our world is subject to faults and fissures, a tiny tremble deep down beneath the crust of the earth results in startling changes on the stage of our lives. Christ Church Cathedral in New Zealand is one
example. (Co-incidentally it was rebuilt in wood by carpenters.)

The movement deep within the crust of the earth is magnified into an earthquake the frightening release of a destructive power. In much the same way as a tiny murmur deep underground can produce so much destruction on the surface so it is with our frail human nature. In these dis-coordinated and uncertain times, immediate remedies are distanced.

An imagined hurt, if harboured, gains disproportionate size and power. Inordinate amounts of time, spiritual and nervous tension can be fruitlessly spent on self justification or guilt or well disguised jealousy.

Human beings function best when they become at one with themselves their Lord and their neighbours.

Please find time to read the letter to the Philippians: Ch4 verses 4-9.

Human jealousy tender conscience, Tectonic plates and head lights left on, it really is a wonderful world.

Graham W Bettridge
Hon Chaplain Parcevall Hall
14 July 2020