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The First Step in Sharing

You’ve got that nagging feeling

‘Here we go again,’ you say to yourself as yet another ‘fire’ breaks out in school. A parent turns up at reception demanding answers, a fight breaks out on the playground, a colleague is having a meltdown. And all the time, there is that irritating feeling that you’re missing something, that there is something more important that you really should be attending to; and you still haven’t had your lunch!

Trust your brain, trust your heart, and trust the Spirit. In time, all three will come together and that eureka moment will flash into view.

Your brain has taken in more than you are aware; your heart always deep down wants to do the right thing; and the Spirit, well, the Spirit is always there, pushing, prodding, supporting, and bringing it all together.

Often, when you are speaking to colleagues, one of them mentions something almost ‘by the way’, and the crucial piece of the jigsaw falls into place. Again, it’s when we are thinking of something else entirely that the solution to a long-standing problem, or at least a partial solution, presents itself.

In the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter Ten, there’s a cracking story of how the Centurion Cornelius and his household convert to Christianity. It’s a story I want to meditate upon, on and off, over the next few weeks. It has been suggested to us as a text we might pray about while thinking about how we as a Church move forward in preparation for the Synod in 2023.

Both Cornelius and Peter, in different parts of the country are going about their business. Cornelius is praying for guidance and is in the midst of doing what he does, being generous. Peter, like the good Christian he is, is also praying, but he is also looking forward to his dinner! Both receive visions. Cornelius springs into action by getting together a posse to go in search for this guy Simon Peter. Peter is puzzled and it’s only when a knock comes to the door that he realises something is afoot. In the story that follows, the Spirit encourages conversation, sharing, real participation in the mission, and eventually the message is preached, and Cornelius and his family come to the Faith.

The way forward comes to us as if from nowhere. But it’s not from nowhere: it’s the work of the Spirit, your brain, and your heart, and of others sharing in the story. All of this gathers you up and propels you to the next stage of the journey.

Here are three things you can do to help with this process:

1. Stop worrying too much that you’re not getting the whole picture: it will come.

2. Take those brief moments of respite, even if it’s just stepping outside for some air for a moment or staring out of the window, in order to let your brain and heart catch up with each other.

3. Get back to those ‘water cooler’ moments with your colleagues wherever and whenever possible. It’s where a lot of the important exchanges take place.

Canon Tom

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