Faith at Work XV

October 2005

"First things first" was a favourite expression of my mother's she liked to get things done, and to do that, it's helpful to give them priority. There's a risk that some things get left so that they never get done but at least the most important jobs are complete, maybe in preparation for other dependent tasks. It set me thinking about what needs to be done first.

About five years ago, when I was still active as an engineer, I was at our technology centre in Germany learning about all the facilities that they used to make sure that vehicle systems were fit for purpose. We were involved in designing and building components for enabling the drive system to operate safely and efficiently. A particular highlight was a visit to one of the test tracks that they used to expose vehicles to extreme conditions. I'm sure you would agree that putting a new vehicle through its paces is essential before it goes to market, especially for safety reasons.

We all had the opportunity to have a go at recovering from one condition or another. I remember vividly being given the key to a Mercedes A-class vehicle and asked to see if I could turn it over using the standard "double lane change" manoeuvre. I expect you will remember the TV advertisement by Ford that made this test famous as the "Elk" test where the driver suddenly found himself having to swerve around the animal in the middle of the road. We never know what will confront us and it's better to make sure that avoiding action can be done safely if at all possible. "First things first" is a good maxim.

We can give thanks that these tests were made and offer to God the effort that we expend in making things well. In a similar way, we can give thanks for all the things that God has done well, and at this time of year, we traditionally give thanks for food and offer the first-fruits of the harvest. They are part of the wonderful world in which we live and it is right to be thankful and to praise God for them. It is also worth extending this metaphor and Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, does just that. He says: "Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ" (1.Cor.15:20,22). So we may pray:

Lord of the harvest, by your grace plant in us a reverence for all that you give us and make us generous and wise stewards of the good things we enjoy, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This site was developed to contain work by Mike Fox relating to the WMMTC course
and subsequent experience during ministry in the parish of Codsall and the BCUIM.
This page was last updated on 2005-09-03

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