A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with the Bishop of Ripon, Rt Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley.
A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with the Bishop of Ripon, Rt Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley
Good morning. I spend a fair amount of an average week driving around the Yorkshire Dales, not all of it going forwards. If you encounter a tractor or a milk tanker or even a larger 4x4 you don’t have much option but to reverse and allow your car to temporarily inhabit the nearest hedge as the other vehicle inches past. Sometimes there’s a flash of the lights to say thank you or a cheery wave, more often than not there’s a cursory ‘thumbs up.’ Then it’s on my way, until the next encounter round the corner.
I don’t mind the driving so much because it gives me time to think and reflect. In this particular case, I can’t but help draw a parallel with life’s journeys. Sometimes we make progress, sometimes we don’t. At times we have to give way, and allow others to take priority. Journeys can be planned and unplanned.
We’re on the cusp of Holy Week, which for Christians marks the solemn and ultimately joyful remembrance of Jesus’ journey to his brutal death and beyond to the hope of resurrection and new life. It’s a journey which begins with a triumphant welcome but soon descends into disorder and confusion. Finding meaning out of those journeys that don’t go to plan can lead to much soul-searching and wondering about how I might do it differently next time. It’s in those moments when strength of character really matters.
God who laid the foundation of the world, strengthen me with your courage and wisdom that I might face this day with the promise of your hope. Amen.