Faith at Work LXVII

February 2010

We have a plan – to use the train to get away for a few days off into Cumbria several times this year. We have somewhere to go, adjacent to the Settle-Carlisle railway. Unfortunately, the station just up the road from where we are staying is no longer used and is now privately owned, so we have to get off three miles down the line and walk, but that’s ok – we’ll get some exercise just getting there.

There are several good reasons for using the train instead of our car – first, during the journey, there is no need to concentrate on the route – the driver can do that for us; second, we will have four hours to read and relax each way; third, rail customers help to maintain the network and we will be doing our little bit to keep it going; and, fourth, the train is going that way anyway and, in terms of our carbon footprint, it will be more efficient in energy terms.

It will cost us a little more in time and probably also in financial terms, depending on how the sums work out and whether it is possible to find a good deal on the tickets. Why, O why, are the prices so variable for the same commodity? I was talking about that to someone in the kitchen at the Science Park last year; she was saying quite rightly that in order to find out what the best deals are, and to catch them in time, it is helpful to have a computer and be able to monitor the ticket prices online. “Not everyone has access to the technology”, she went on to say, “and that makes it a bit unfair”. I agreed with her, but didn’t have much to offer in consolation; her way around this problem was that her son did it for her whenever she wanted to travel, but that doesn’t exactly empower her to choose for herself, does it? One thing that the pricing structure, and the timetable for that matter, does is to make it advantageous to think ahead. Although the plan may be fairly inflexible, it is clear from the outset where and when we’re going and how we will get there, trains and weather permitting.

The same is true for many things in life. Having a plan means that we can get on and progress towards our goal. During the church season of Lent that begins this month, there is an opportunity to reflect on where we are in our lives, to explore something new or deeper and to plan a path we might follow. God calls us to move on, to enter a place of reflection and change, to be challenged by reality and to encounter the life-giving presence within. Here’s a blessing on your journey from Angela Ashwin:

Bless to me, O Lord,
the darkness in my journey,
the wounds of deepest longing,
the risk of still believing.
O intimate, incarnate One,
stay close where I most need you,
where you already are:
in my mistakes – healing;
in my emptiness – inflowing;
in my nothingness – God.

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 2010-01-30

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