The Rector’s Thoughts……
On my recent holiday in Austria, on more than one occasion, I was graphically reminded of one of Aesop’s Fables – “The Ant and the Grasshopper”. This fable, with its moral against laziness, takes up the theme of Proverbs 6:6-9 “Go to the ant, you lazybones; consider its ways, and be wise. Without having any chief or office or ruler, it prepares its food in summer, and gathers its sustenance in harvest. How long will you lie there, O lazybones? When will you rise from your sleep?” On Goldreid Mountain, above the town of Matrei in East Tirol, many groups of tiger ants busily worked the pathways as grasshoppers sang their hearts out nearby in the warm summer sunshine. Added to this idyllic scene was the occasional butterfly lazily flitting between colourful Alpine flowers. But, you may well ask, did the moral of Aesop’s Fable or the excerpt from the Book of Proverbs make me feel guilty – enjoying myself, while there was so much work to be done at home? The answer to that question, I have to confess, has only two letters! However the reasons for my answer do not necessarily involve laziness. For a start, the old adage of ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ holds true. Second, everyone needs a break to help recharge their batteries to face present and future challenges. Third, being unprepared for challenges was something we discovered to our cost as we rushed into undertaking too much unaccustomed exercise at the beginning of our holiday, leaving us with serious stiffness, pains and aches!
But for us and many others, all good things come to an end and as we start the month of September, holidays are but a fading memory as normal routines resume. For those who have been anxiously awaiting their Leaving Certificate results, the wait has come to an end, and now the major decisions of whether to go down the route of further education or seek to enter the workforce have to be made. Those fortunate enough to get the results they required and hoped for will have been given their choice in the first round of CAO offers. Those less fortunate will have to wait for further rounds or accept alternative course offers. It can be a very anxious and stressful time for all concerned and our thoughts and prayers are with them as they make these life-changing decisions.
At the other end of the educational spectrum, some will be embarking on formal education for the first time. It can be a very exciting and emotional time for young families as they mark the next step of their child’s development. And this step into formal education will very much mark a new beginning as education is now a lifetime process and not just confined to school or college years as was often thought in times past.
Looking further afield, the famine crisis in East Africa is still unfolding. And to compound matters, the activities of terrorist groups (particularly in parts of Somalia) are making it extremely difficult to distribute necessary relief. We may be tempted to complain about our Irish summer weather (or indeed, the lack of it!), with predictions at this late stage saying it will be the coldest and dullest for over fifty years. However, we should be very thankful that we do not have to contend with the extreme droughts and conditions of East Africa. Perhaps it may be appropriate that we express our thankfulness in a practical way by doing all we can to encourage and help the response of the world community to this catastrophic humanitarian crisis.
At a more local level, the end of this month sees our Autumn Fair on the 24th September. This promises to be a great community occasion with so many involved in the various facets of its organisation. Elsewhere in our monthly update under the Autumn Fair category, there are details of the various stalls and activities. May I encourage you to look in your attics and garages and see if perhaps you may have some items which would be suitable for our Fair. May I also encourage you to come on the day and enjoy the warmest of Tullow welcomes.
With every blessing,
The Rev’d. John Tanner – 289 3154 / 086 302 1376