A few weeks ago some of us in South Luffenham were without water for about 14 hours. I’m sure some of the children were quite pleased since it meant that valuable time wasn’t wasted by having to have a bath or a shower or, even worse, wash hair! However, the adults were not so pleased. We couldn’t possibly manage a day without being clean, having that first essential cup of coffee and, top of the list, flush the loo.
It made me think how much we take for granted. When we turn the tap on we expect water to come out and if we switch on the lights we assume that there will be illumination. But there are so many parts of the world where there are no taps and no electricity and people live without these commodities every day. We have all seen the pictures of small children walking a very long way to fetch and carry water for that day. Some of the water is polluted and does more harm than good.
We accept that the things we expect to work will do so and we get very upset if they don’t. And we do exactly the same with people. So often we think far more about ourselves and expect people to fall in line with us rather than consider the needs of others. If we don’t get our own way we are often like small children who sulk or do things with a bad grace, instead of trying to show a civilised aspect to those around us.
I try not to make New Year resolutions because they are usually broken by the 4th of January! However this year I am going to try not to take people for granted and try not to feel that it is a personal vendetta if the water or electricity are not working when I want a shower.
It is even easier to take God for granted and ignore Him but He has never left us. We have just celebrated the birth of Jesus and been reminded of the great love that God has for each one of us and that he would like us to have for each other. He offers that love to us. The poem by Minnie Louise Haskins that George VI used in his 1939 Christmas broadcast always seems very relevant at the beginning of every year.
‘And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.’
A very happy and blessed 2018.