It’s raining; children are returning to school.
For many years the first day of a new school year was important for me – returning children, new children, prepared teachers, eager anticipation…
…and my first school assembly. I sometimes used a map with ‘you are here’ on it, talking about varied past journeys, exciting future opportunities… we are all here together today.
Taking stock is good. We look back to past experiences, lessons learnt, significant memories, the good old days (and sometimes the bad old days).
We review our physical condition – hospital visits and appointments, the current exercise regime, the inability to do what I once did – or that it now takes much longer!
We review our mental condition – causes of stress, anxiety or depression, guilt and shame, bad habits and addictions; we review relationships – family responsibilities, friendships growing, maintaining or fading, arguments or agreements…
Future Plans often arise from taking stock: the Old Year review leads to the New Year’s Resolution. My big life plan – my purpose, opportunities, direction, vocation: the new project, the negative habit or addiction to break, the positive attitude or action to start and retain.
Today… the smaller details, the first step – the person to phone, the visit to make, the apology to give, the gift to deliver, the fresh approach to a problem.
Musing on John 12 – Jesus does a home visit: different people’s responses to their ‘today’:
- Providing: Martha offers hospitality, serving, working behind the scenes…
- Passive: Lazarus relaxes after his excitement – he was dead and Jesus brought him back to life.
- Perfume: It is Mary’s big day. She pours her life-savings, invested in one jar of perfume, over Jesus.
- Purse: Judas is the practical cynic, discrediting Mary’s actions and thinking of money.
‘You are here’ today – active or passive; taking the opportunity of a lifetime or discrediting the efforts of others.