A message from The Rev’d Keith Adlam, Associate Priest.

Posted by Admin on 23 October 2008, 12:00 am

When I last wrote for Northwood News, I referred to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Cern in Switzerland and that I awaited the results of the planned experiment with interest. 

On 10th September the first beam in the LHC was successfully steered around the full 27 kilometres of the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. Starting up a major new particle accelerator takes much more than flipping a switch. Thousands of individual elements have to work in harmony, timings have to be synchronized to under a billionth of a second, and beams finer than a human hair have to be brought into head-on collision. However, ten days later came the announcement that an incident had occurred resulting in a large helium leak into the tunnel. Preliminary investigations indicated that the most likely cause of the problem was a faulty electrical connection between two magnets, which probably melted at high current leading to mechanical failure. The planned experiment has now been postponed until 2009. Something so small had such a major effect.

Where mechanical or electrical things are concerned they can be repaired with a degree of certainty that all will be well (computers may be an exception!). However, where people are involved that is a different matter. Think about a place of work, a family, sports or social clubs, church where there are various types of people, all with the potential to make or unmake harmony in that particular place. Harmony has been described as “the just adaptation of parts to each other so as to form a complete symmetrical or pleasing whole.” It takes many parts to make the LHC work. Picture those places I’ve just referred to where we find ourselves. How do we speak or act so that harmony is achieved? Quite often it is the small things that make most difference, even affecting the way our lives continue afterwards. For example, we may praise someone so that they will be encouraged; or we have an unexpected kindness done to us. Conversely, are we dogmatic in our putting our point of view or are we able to think about what the other person has to say. The apostle Peter, who was well known for his impetuosity and being outspoken, wrote in later life, “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” These are simple yet profound words and perhaps not as easy to put into practice as we first imagine. However, perhaps we can carry out a small experiment. For the month of November see in how many ways we can work at being harmonious. We may be surprised at the outcome. You might even want to let me know.

God’s blessings on all of you

Keith Adlam
Associate Priest

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