19th May 2021

I’m writing this almost a fortnight before it appears on our church’s website, but if things have gone to plan, this week has seen the further loosening of the restrictions imposed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. At last we can meet friends in a cafe, restaurant or bar, actually inside and not out in a garden or courtyard braving the vagaries of early spring weather. If so much of our social life has been on hold these past months, now we can begin to plan to meet up again, face to face and in the flesh. Let rejoicing be unconfined!

However… I find there’s another side of me that’s not so sure it wants to rejoice. My diary, which has had pretty much little to record all this time, is now starting to fill. I’m having to juggle increasing calls upon my time, actually having to make decisions to fit it all in. And there’re those friends and family members living at a distance whom I’ll soon be able to go to see, or for them to come and see me. This new-found freedom, so long hoped for, now starts to feel a little like PRESSURE! Yes, you’re right – I am an introvert, and we introverts may have fared somewhat better during lockdown than you more gregarious types, so perhaps now is payback time.

Ecclesiastes 3 opens with that wonderful passage about the different times in life: ‘for everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.’ (If you can hear The Byrds singing ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’ in your head, you know you must be of a certain age.) We can’t direct or choose the times and seasons we find ourselves in, but we do find God there.

Ken Stewart