DAY 85: Thursday 11 June
DON’T GET AGITATED
Good morning all
For much of the past 12 weeks we’ve had relative stability in our lives in that, for the most part, we’ve not been able to go out, meet together or engage in many of our previously normal activities. Initially it was strange and often frustrating queuing for ages to even get into a supermarket and then to discover they had no toilet rolls! But those problems gradually eased and life for those of us over a certain age settled into a pattern of relative calm – in fact many of you have said you were enjoying the peace and quiet.
Then some of the restrictions were lifted, traffic started flowing again, some schools were to reopen and if we didn’t mind queuing for a couple of hours, we could once again visit the Council Tip or even go for a MacDonalds drive thru! I suspect most of us managed to resist the temptation to queue for several hours to get into Ikea and imagine that not too many of us have booked an online appointment to visit a car showroom. From next week we will have to wear face covering to get on a bus or train, and if we want, we can don a face mask, jump on the bus, travel into Birmingham and join the queue for Primark!
For the past 3 weeks we’ve been allowed to go out for a drive or take more exercise and that has helped restore some normality, although we still cannot meet at the Chapel and it will probably been several weeks more before we could start to even plan for that. Maybe by Autumn, some of our normal activities may resume, but we’ve now got to wait and see if the recent demonstrations have triggered a numbers spike in Covid infections and deaths. Apparently, NHS hospitals up and down the country are actively preparing for a predicted second surge of coronavirus infections and the Nightingale hospitals that were to be mothballed, are being kept on standby, just in case.
In the meantime, many people are still unsure when they can return to work or whether they will still have a job. Millions of children have no idea when they can return to school and thousands will have left education unsure of what they will do. At the other end of the age spectrum, thousands of older people are awaiting medical examinations and diagnosis postponed for many months. All of these uncertainties are unsettling for everyone, and it is too easy to allow ourselves to become agitated – desperate to be allowed to go and to do just as we used to.
Agitation develops into worry, then into frustration and ultimately into anger – anger against the situation, anger against the Government and authorities, anger against God and ultimately anger against ourselves, leading to emotional and mental breakdown. When we sense we are heading in that downwards direction, we need to take positive action and if we see someone else in that situation, give them encouragement.
Proverbs 12:25 – Anxiety weighs a person down leading to depression, but an encouraging word lifts a person up.
Philippians 4:6-7 - Don’t be anxious about anything but pray about everything. With a thankful heart offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand or explain. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.
We need come back to the verse that we have referred to so many times over the past 3 months – Psalm 46:10 – Be still and know that I am God.
Perhaps it would be appropriate to sing those words - already the most popular of our 92 Hymnalong tracks >>> BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD
Yesterday I received an email from Ted Roberts with some thoughts for the InStep Men’s group and included in his email was a link to an amusing but thought-provoking Youtube video by John Sterry.
John has been to Falcon Lodge on several occasions to the Mens’ groups and also for 2-3 Sunday morning services. John normally worships at Banners Gate Community Church and was last with us at the Chapel earlier this year on 9th February when he came with Dave & Lynda West-Mullen, sang in the music group and shared one of his poems.
The video lasts just under 10 minutes and was filmed at John’s home and a local park in Kingstanding >>> https://youtu.be/mpvfCNECHOE
Don’t forget that from today you can only visit the Council Tip if you have pre-booked online.
No further update yet on Vera but last evening she was still in a serious condition.