The end of an era

One of the reasons for the name of this blog is because, since 2006, I have been running a driving school. As a driving instructor I spend a significant amount of my time sitting at red traffic lights. But corona virus has brought a premature end to all of that. I am currently training for ordination in the Church of England. God willing my ordination will happen in the summer of 2021. I have been thinking for a while that it would be a wonderful opportunity to spend more time as an ordinand, so I have been seeking to give up the driving school for a while. I finally worked out a way that I can make that happen late in the summer of this year. But given that I need now to suspend teaching due to corona it makes sense just to call the whole thing off now and have done with it. That way I don’t have the financial liability of paying for a car when I don’t have an income. My wife and I already have a car, we don’t need two. Boris Johnson’s speech to the nation this evening has confirmed what I had already decided. I am, in essence, an ex-driving instructor, I’m unemployed. Corona virus has stolen my livelihood. Ite, missa est.

Thus I now have more time to attend to my studies and, once we have rid ourselves of the corona virus, perhaps I can spend some time in the parish. I’ve been on placement since New Year but placement is primarily about doing stuff in Church in Sundays. That is very much the tip of the iceberg of what full-time ministry is all about, and, compared to some of the work that clergy do, stuff in Church on Sunday is the easy bit. In our current situation I am struggling to get my head around exactly how a parish priest is supposed to tend their flock. I am seeing some wonderful examples of live streaming, video messages, emails and the like. Technology is being used in some very creative ways to keep the body of Christ together. But what of those who cannot access it? There’s the telephone to keep in touch, but is that enough. I think that whatever we do it will never be enough to overcome this dystopian pickle that we’re in. I’m reminded of an excellent sermon that I heard about the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. The preacher pointed out that the little boy’s offering of five loaves and three fish in the face of five thousand men (plus their wives and children) was pathetic. It was so insignificant that it was useless. But Jesus took that offering and he made up the shortfall. That small lunch fed all of those people with plenty left over. Let’s remember that same insignificant offering of the little boy. Let’s just stay at home. How insignificant a thing is it for each of us to sit at home and do nothing. Such an insignificant thing will vastly reduce the spread of this virus. Let’s all just do what Boris has told us. And while we’re sitting there we can contemplate the awesomeness of God. Let us reflect on Psalm 46 verse 10:-

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”


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