A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on 25 February 2016, 10:11 pm

Amanda Collinson


St John the Baptist Church



Tel: 01983 294913

Email: amandacollinson01@gmail.com


Hello there!
The majority of this year’s month of March is Lent for Christians around the world…..a traditional time of reflecting, thinking and praying. Some people love this; I will be honest with you, I struggle with it. When I was at theological college, we had quiet days every term: this consisted of silence for the whole day, prayers and sermons and a key speaker giving us reflective addresses to think about throughout the day. These days were planned in each term, we had no decision as to when we ‘wanted’ to stop and reflect and in all honesty they never came at a good time for me: I was either not in the right frame of mind, stressed out about an essay that was due in imminently, needed companionship….and normally by late afternoon I was one of a small group of people who secretly texted one another and met up outside the college grounds and went for a walk, somewhere for coffee and cake or simply sat in the car listening to the radio!
And do you know what, I continue to struggle with silent, reflective times…..my excuse now is that my life is rather frantic, professionally as a priest of two parishes totally nearly 10,000 people and personally with a full time working husband and two young boys (don’t worry, be assured I love being busy) and I struggle to sit down and read a book or watch the TV, especially if there is washing to be put on, dishwasher needing to be emptied, rooms hoovered etc. etc. Quite simply it is just not in my character to stop and be, to read and reflect, to pray and to listen. Just as my boys cannot sit still for more than a moment (unless the ‘Square Idol’ in the corner of the room is switched on), I have always been someone that is continually doing.
But do you know what. I NEED TO STOP. I NEED TO BE. I NEED TO REFLECT. Why? Because otherwise I will continue to be too busy to properly see where I am, be aware of what I have and do not properly appreciate the world around me – in my own life, around our community, on the Island, in our world. And I think perhaps I am not the only one.
I recall reading a book about Desmond Tutu, and in it there’s a quote from his friend, Francis Cull who talks about Tutu’s prayer life revolving around rest, prayer, and work and in that order. Consider this for a moment: Desmond Tutu – He served as archbishop of the Province of Southern Africa, a Christian community including millions of people in several countries. He was a principal leader in the fearsome, demanding struggle to free South Africa from apartheid. Upon retirement, he took up the responsibility of chairing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of his country, and thus led its burdensome work of restoring health to the soul of a sin-sick nation. And this man found it possible to rest, to rest in God. Indeed, were he among us here today, I’m sure he would tell us that doing these things would have been utterly impossible for him if he had not found rest in God.
Just like Desmond Tutu, each of us in our unique way must give priority to rest, to stop and ‘count your blessings’ as the old song goes, to have some deep reflective prayer with God or if you do not believe to reflect on your life, who you are and where you are at the moment and then work – act on the world around you, on your reflections as to who and where you are, work towards what you truly need to do, not just have been doing for months and years.
Don’t have a depressive Lent, where all you do is moan about the thing you have given up. Instead rejoice in the things you have and perhaps take up something instead – rest, reflect and/or pray, yes but also act. Be more aware of your life and the world around you through your resting and reflecting so you can be the most productive person you can be: whatever your age and whatever your ability.
I wish you a positive, productive yet restful and reflective month!
Rev’d Amanda.


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