I don’t know about you but when everyone flees the nest to start a new term, or to begin a new venture, I always feel slightly anxious, and yes, a little bit downcast; a bit blue. Perhaps, this is just my nature. Anyway, its how I feel today as I prepare to start the new term at Cuddesdon and, as I take my eldest daughter back to school (where I know she will be brilliantly served). My wife starts her course again tomorrow, my younger daughter begins term in a couple of days time.
I am also aware that many of my friends and family are entering into new phases of their life, in some cases their ministry. They, no doubt, will be feeling that strange mix of hopeful anticipation and mild anxiety. All of us have just begun a new calender year. What will providence bring our way? What do we hope for and, what do we fear? How are we (Winston Churchill) to ‘keep buggering on?’
Well,may be the Celtic and Benedictine traditions can help. The liturgy for the very brief midday prayer from the Celtic Prayer Book incorporates the words of Psalm 90 verse 17, ‘let the beauty of the Lord our God shine upon us and establish thou the work of our hands,’ whilst in the Prologue to Benedict’s rule we are encouraged to ‘first of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to him most earnestly to bring it perfection.’ Benedict provides us with the answer, prayer, the Celts with some words that we can use as we think of the days, weeks, and years ahead.Very ecumenical!
What are we both hopeful and anxious about? As the hymn suggests can we ‘take it to the Lord in prayer?’ Go on you know it makes sense.