The Rector Writes – exam hopes, holiday wishes and time-out

As another school year draws to a close, long summer holidays now lie ahead for all those concerned. For those who have just completed their Leaving Certificate Examinations, the seemingly endless anxious wait begins ahead of results in mid August. Hopefully this will bring clarity to candidates future direction and enable them to realise their hopes and dreams. As our Primary Schools close for the summer, those in sixth class will now be looking forward to moving to their Secondary school of choice in late August/early September. It can be both an anxious and exciting  me for students and families alike.

However, for most, summer is a time when they look forward to being able to take things a little easier and plan a holiday – a break away from routine. Whilst that is both welcome and necessary, it can be a difficult  me for those who depend on routine – especially those elderly depending on home care packages, those in Nursing Homes and those needing hospital care. It can also be difficult for those awaiting consultant’s appointments as many of these services operate on skeleton staff which concentrate on emergencies only.

Nevertheless, as I mentioned, taking  me out from the daily grind is necessary. It gives an opportunity to recharge energy levels and get a perspective on life. It also helps families to bond a little better as in today’s lifestyle individual family members seem to be constantly ‘doing’ and find little time for just ‘being’. In fact, psychologists have warned that making that transition from
‘doing’ to ‘being’ is not without its own problems which have led to many family holidays being fraught with bitter tensions and conflicts. In fact, sorry to shatter illusions, but the stereotypical advertising family of two svelte parents with a daughter and son, all smiling as they relax and play on the beach, does not have much basis in reality!

Here in Tullow, our summer schedule also sees regular activities pared back. There will be no midweek Services during July and August and all other parish clubs and societies will not recommence until September. However, our weekly Sunday Services will continue uninterrupted except that with fluctuating choir numbers, Psalms and Canticles will be said rather than sung. Hopefully this ‘seasonal’ change will allow people to reflect more deeply on the words rather than struggling to find the right notes!

It is my hope that this summer will prove to be that warm and sunny  me which most of us wish for. If it proves to be so, let us be extremely thankful. However, if our hopes are not realised, let us still be thankful for all the other blessings which come our way. Let us learn to accept that over which we have no control. To quote Reinhold Neibuhr’s Serenity Prayer: ‘God grant me the
serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.

Let all of us who may be planning a break/change of scene over these coming months be thankful that we have the opportunity to do so. In closing, may I wish all parishioners and their families and friends an enjoyable and safe summer. May those awaiting exam results receive a just reward for their efforts.

With every blessing,

John.

Rev’d John Tanner. 01-289 3154 / 086 302 1376

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