A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on 24 September 2019, 11:35 pm

Amanda Collinson


St John the Baptist Church



Tel: 01983 294913

Email: amandacollinson01@gmail.com




I met an old family friend a while ago and taking my face, the dear elderly lady said, ‘You haven’t changed a bit.’ Now she is a wonderful person but sadly as I look in the mirror, I see that she is very much mistaken….in oh so many ways!  Last time she saw me my hair was much longer (and less grey), I was a lot thinner, in my teens I loved Wham and was rarely seen without wearing Doc Martens, I spent my free time swimming, dancing….and reading! Aha, perhaps there is something that has remained with me since my childhood!
I have always loved reading.  My Mum used to continually tell me to ‘put down the book’ so I can walk down the stairs, come to the table to eat, get ready for school…. you know live a normal life! However, the tables have now turned and I am sure she is inwardly laughing every time she hears me saying the same words to my eldest who is a complete bookworm and now even to the younger one who has not been able to put down a series of books over the summer! But ladies and gentlemen, do not think I am complaining, definitely not!  I started reading to my boys whilst they were still in my womb and it is certainly one of my greatest joys when they now read stories to me!
Frederick Douglass once said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ And I have the pleasure of sharing that freedom and joy with some amazing women in a Book Club that I have the privilege to be part of.  We have enjoyed reading a variety of diverse books over the past few months, fiction and non-fiction, and discussing them which always gives me a different insight to the one I had.  Stimulating and challenging for my old brain cells but the best thing I get out of these get togethers is just being with dear friends.
What is it that I love so much? Down time from work? Being with fun people? Yes of course those are two big reasons, but you get so much more than that when you are with people who care about you. In a book I have recently read (!!) it talked about ensuring that you should try to make sure the negative input of your life is outweighed by positive input otherwise you can become like a stone that has a perpetual dripping tap above it, slowly eroding you away. Whereas if your positive input is greater than your negative you will have joy in your hearts, flourish and be able to look forward with hope.
The thing is, so many of us adults think we have nothing positive to give, no skill someone would find useful, nothing worthy of listening to…..the list is endless and varied and we have all felt like that some time or other and before we know it, the negative input is clearly outweighing the positive.  And things are compounded when we think always think we are useless and not just in certain circumstances.
One son has recently been reading a Ninja book and has told us a whole world of interesting facts about Ninja training and their way of life. He has even started to adopt parts into his every day. I asked him why he was doing that – his reply was so he could be a Ninja.
Of course, silly me.
But do you know what – he believes in himself and I believe in him. I truly believe that my son, this little pocket rocket, could do anything he puts his mind to – his determination and self-belief is awesome….me, well that’s a different story, but then I wasn’t like this all my life. Thinking about it, what was the age when I stopped believing I could do anything I wanted to? When did I suddenly think I couldn’t be one of the great characters from the books I read?
I spoke to some Mums at school today and every one of us admitted that we had missed out on doing something because we either didn’t think we were good enough, were afraid of failing or didn’t want to be rejected.  And yet I can confidently say that every single one of those women was an awesome Mum with great gifts……. So maybe we all need to return to the books for inspiration, for confidence, for strength. And as a Christian I have one of the best books to hand in the Bible, where God continually gives His followers encouragement, confidence, strength and love, and that includes us reading it today.
So why not pick up a book this month and submerge yourself again in stories of adventure, of mystery, of love, of joy – whatever is your favourite genre. Submerge yourself in another time and place and have some fun doing it.  And hopefully you will return to the younger version of yourself with a larger dose of confidence and motivation so you can go and do something which you thought you would never do! Live out your potential – for your sake and I am sure your family, friends and perhaps even our community will benefit too: never has there been a time when we have needed more heroes in our society!
Wishing you a wonderful ‘reading and inspiring’ month!

Rev’d Amanda


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