Faith at Work XXXII

March 2007

Life is all about change but it is also cyclic; new life begins, we are born, we grow up within a family, we learn who we are and what we can do, we contribute to society and the world, we give birth to new life and start a new generation; finally we look back as we see things in true perspective.At least, thatís how it might be.On the way, we may find distraction, conflict, suffering and many things that make our lives a good deal more complicated than we would like.How do we cope?

The season of Lent is now upon us and it is not a time, as some would say, simply of giving up but of reflecting on the things that life has dealt to us and working out where we stand.When Jesus had been baptised by John in the river Jordan at the age of 30, licensed if you like to go out and proclaim the kingdom of God, he was not well equipped to cope with the pressures that would be thrust upon him.He needed a time of reflection in the wilderness to come to terms with his mission and to have it tested out by all the wily temptations that the devil could think of [see Luke 4].After this robust induction to his lifeís work, he comes to the synagogue to teach, he goes out to heal but he often gets a mixed reception so he seeks out solitude to regain his strength and vision.

I have come across several situations recently where jobs are being reviewed and their content is being reworked or, in the extreme, made redundant.From the individualís viewpoint, there is much uncertainty; there may be anxiety and an oppressive sense of powerlessness; there may also be many knock-on effects on relationships or family situations that make decisions even more difficult.In addition, the context may be well outside our control when, for example, external funding regimes change or when companies are taken over and structures re-examined.However desperate we are, we hope for a situation that will be clearly defined and have an appropriate role for us within it but it may mean significant change, depend on re-training or taking a new focus.Maybe taking time out as Jesus did with God his Father will give us the confidence to know how to proceed.Maybe taking time out for prayer, study or simply sharing with friends will give us insight and support to deal with sharing lifeís challenges.

I am reminded of Reinhold Niebuhrís prayer:

God grant me
the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

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 2007-01-29

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