My sister Ruth turned 31. My father turned 74. My mate and mentor Hughie turned 45. Far too many birthdays in this month and just when I thought it was safe to get away from the birthdays October will see my brother turn 29 and my best friend at university turn the big 30. I’m sure there maybe other birthdays I’ve neglected to mention, but that’s enough to get my wallet groaning. (This is a figure of speech. I’ve not had a wallet since it was stolen a few months ago. I don’t miss it, but I’m sure another will be useful eventually.)
September has been a very interesting month. I got to see that best mate at university twice after not having seen him since my marital union to the beloved Authrine over four years ago (that be him pictured - oh he of Bury Abroad infamy). I started a special diet over the month for a set period of time to wean me off some of the unhealthy foods that’s too much of my diet. I took part in an interesting meeting of young people in Stoke-on-Trent from different churches who just wanted to do something different and together for the Kingdom. I got to say happy birthday to another friend in the capital city who turned the big 30. I got to play squash again for the first time in months.
The wife kicked off on her academic studies, going for a foundation degree in Youth and Community Services. Met the Regional Christian Spiritual Development Workers (CSD) and was inspired by the work done and the work we’re about to do. I met a guy who’s highly respected in YMCA circles and got to see him in operation which was most intriguing. There’s also scouting a football team that I am considering joining soon. Saw my son perform at the Royal Albert Hall (pictured) and whilst in the capital for the umpteenth time this month also met up with my brother and his wife for the first time in a while. Started a year long part-time training course on missions which I’m hoping will have huge positive repercussions for the work I do both at YMCA and COG.
I visited a dear friend and watched him preach and also shared ANOTHER birthday for a friend’s son who turned 1 year old. Attended another conference in the capital city and learnt a lot about church, also got to eat at a vegetarian restaurant for the first time in my life which was a great experience. Saw one of my fellow CSD’s spirituality workshop for the staff in Burton-on-Trent and I was suitably impressed to see what could be done in Stoke-on-Trent (hence the candle experience). I got excited further about web development through a visit to the guy who’s developed the YMCA’s web-site. I got to look after Deborah and Kev on my own as Authrine and Abigail spent some time in London attending a family member’s wedding. Finally September saw me complete the quarterly Saturday morning study we’ve been doing on Hebrews which marks the last time I’ll be regularly down as the teacher for 2007 with Hughie taking the next quarterly shift as I move to new projects.
It has been a packed month of activities and it doesn’t look like easing any as we go into October. What I am learning slowly but surely, however, is that activity is not necessarily the sign of productivity and some of the best times recently have been times where I can chill, reflect, engage with God in a still, silent, contemplative way and just learn to be and not so much of the do. That will remain the challenge in the time ahead and the coming responsibilities and requirements of me as things progress.
I sincerely hope and pray that October will be a really great month for me and all those I love. Of course with October comes the kick into the final quarter of the year where the clocks go backwards/forwards (delete as applicable I forget at the moment). That should make things all the more fun as Autumn turns inexorably towards winter.
For His Name’s Sake
da man cd