Monday, 3 March 2014

Paths blocked while trying to move forward

The countryside here in Dorset is still recovering from the massive storms that we experienced a couple of weeks ago. Much of my dog walking is in woodlands and many of the paths are still blocked by ancient trees that have been uprooted. It makes me think about life in our churches - as we try to move forward, there always seems to be some barrier in the way. It takes creative thinking to find a way around the blockages - and that takes up a lot of time! There have been many sleepless nights in the Rectory as, in turn, one of the benefice churches throws up a problem. We never thought it was going to be easy but life is, perhaps, harder than we anticipated it was going to be. We are both tired and in need of a break in order to gain some perspective and to stop us looking over the fence to see if the grass is greener!

This path was lined with magnificent beech trees but they have sadly suffered in the storms.

In other woods, the chalky subsoil is exposed when the trees fall onto one another, causing a cascading effect through the woods. It reminds us of the need to have firm foundations.


  1. What utter devastation those storms have caused ... but ... the earth will replenish. I remember an advertisement for cheese that 'graced' the TV screens in NZ ... They were looking to employ a cheesemaker. Several people were in the interview room and one by one they left as no-one appeared to interview them, leaving just one. He was employed because he had patience, and good cheese takes time.
    Take a short break, empty your minds of the problems of the moment, and in that silence an answer will come ... because like a good cheese, ministering takes time. I am sure you both have the temperament to not allow disturbances of the moment take away from the long term goal.
    I would love to see a photo of your 'walking area' taken at the end of the coming summer.

    1. Thank you - it is so helpful to hear from people who have followed our journey and who recognise when we need some encouragement - thank you!

  2. Gosh, you've had much more damage than we did! The immediate aftermath of a storm is heartbreaking. However, you took those photos in the early days and as Shirley says things will look very different later in the year. Similarly, it's still very early days in your ministry in the parishes, far too soon for results to become visible. I moved on from my first parishes after three years for family reasons and it was only at that point that I could see what I had actually achieved in my time there.

    1. We both value your wise words so much - thank you!

  3. Fallen trees,
    evocative symbols.
    The way blocked,
    mirrors the way blocked

    Be not afraid!
    Travel in the strength
    of the one
    who walks with you.

    Blessings and Bear hugs.