Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Best Laid Plans

'Best laid plans' How often have we used this phrase over the years? But do we know its origin?
These words are taken from Robert Burns' poem 'To a Mouse'. Scotland national bard was born on the 25th January 1759 to a poor tenant farmer in Ayr. The eldest of seven children he often had to take on heavy farm work. This left him with a premature stoop and a weakened constitution. Luckily for posterity he focused on the less physically arduous task of writing and left us with  many well known pieces such as such as 'Old Lang Syne' and 'My Love Is Like a Red Red Rose'.

Food for reflection this January as we plan our year ahead perhaps?
How often indeed do 'the best laid schemes of man gang aft aglay'!
On the contrary how often do the more improbable plans of God triumph.
We are reminded of the words of the harvest hymn;
'We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land
But it is fed and watered by God's almighty hand.'

Let's pray then, that the plans that we are making this month are the ones that God wants to nourish. Plans that will bring real joy to others. For 'the best laid schemes of mice and men'  only-  as the bard so rightly says-
'gang aft aglay.'

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Travelling Lightly

 Born this day in 1745 in France was Jacques-√Čtienne Montgolfier (6 January 1745 – 2 August 1799) who was one of the famous Montgolfier Brothers  were the inventors of a type of hot air balloon .Man could finally take to the air! 

  In January when the sun sets  as we are travelling home, we are reminded of just how beautiful our skies are, We can look up at the skies and imagine the joy and freedom experienced by these first balloonists floating over the earth in their small basket.

As we set out on another year's journey ourselves we are reminded that we too can best see the world when we are prepared to travel lightly

Right Head, Wrong Face?

So now we're looking forward to the year ahead.
We're facing in the right direction.
But do we have the right face on?
At times we'll experience frustration,anger, discouragement and even depression as we realise that new equipment, skills and knowledge will be needed to achieve our new plans and projects. Rome wasn't built in a day- as they say.
One step at one time.
 As Paul Bowden's  states in Telling It Like It Is (2011)  ...  if we're facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking. If it takes a year, or sixty years, or five lifetimes, as long as we're heading towards light, that's all that matters. ... 
 So put a cheerful face on to start the journey.  You may need it!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Looking Forward

"January sick and tired of you. You've been hanging on me......' so the 1975 hit from Pilot went.

Clearly it was so popular as it reflected the mood of millions of us! The Christmas and New Year festivities are over and it is back to work, school and the reality of daily life hits us hard.

 So how can we make use of the month?
 Let's consider where the month takes it's name from: Janus, the two headed Roman goddess.
With one head we can look back over the old year,  and with the other  look ahead to the new one.
Which head will I be using most?

Well here the gods seem to have only one head:

As the good book says in Ezekiel 1:12:
'And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went'.