Boy what a morning that was. The alarm went off, rolled out of bed, got dressed and stumbled down stairs to put the kettle on (always the first priority) get breakfast organised, make packed lunches for the children, feed the rabbit (got to be careful to feed the right things to the right people at the right time!) and have just about enough time to finally have breakfast myself before making sure everyone had left on time with the right bags and kit for the day. All done, more or less on time. Phew. Then went upstairs to have a quick wash, looking forward to a quiet hour before Toddlers to get myself organised, read my Bible and pray, and to write this newsletter column. That never happened…
Getting downstairs I discovered that I’d missed a phonecall and had a message from the company doing the church bell tower to say that the scaffolders had tried to deliver the scaffolding and to put it up only to find that the roadworks were in the way and there was nowhere for them to park. Could I go and negotiate with the foreman on the roadworks and let the scaffolders know when somewhere was organised. Charge outside, track down the foreman. Arrange a hole. Phone the builders back. Then hang around on watch looking out for a lorry which could be the scaffolder and lead them to the cleared space. Done successfully just as Toddlers was due to start. So much for the quiet start! Not the ‘quiet time with God’ I’d hoped for.
Or was it? Where was God in all of this? Surely this was a chance to serve God and those around me. The whole morning was in fact one long list of opportunities to see God and work and to share his love. I had a choice – I could get grumpy with the children, to be honest I’m naturally grumpy and uncommunicative first thing, or I could make their lunches as if I was doing so for God and put aside my desire for tea in order to ensure they had a good start to the day. And how about the mass of builders of one kind and another clogging up the road with all the resultant chaos? Plenty were moaning, and so was I to start with, but then I caught myself and sent out a cup of tea, had a chat with them and asked if the men on the road enjoyed the cakes that were left over from the Foodbank the night before. Have to admire their skill in doing what they’re doing, and the politeness and thoughtfulness in the way they’re doing it. People made by God, expressing something of the image of that God within them, regardless of whether or not they are Christians.
Quiet time with my Bible and prayer? Maybe not, but on reflection God was there, as was the chance to serve him.