Thought for the Week

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Practically every time I listen to the news or read a newspaper I am bombarded with the same thing – The Economic Downturn. The sums of money mentioned are almost unimaginable - millions, then billions now trillions. Unemployment is a huge concern to many and getting a mortgage is very difficult. There are many who are quite desperate to find somewhere to live.

The fear and uncertainty this generates is as unimaginable as the numbers involved. There are such a vast number of people who are in despair and simply don’t know where to turn. Indeed any constants in their lives are disappearing and they even question – who am I? So many are being referred to in the same sort of way I can understand why this question is asked. We are all individual and our hopes, dreams and aspirations are just as important as anyone else’s.

I would urge anyone in this position to remember that no matter how bleak things may seem there is a higher power there to help you. He has counted every hair on your individual head.

The following short piece by Gonville ffrench-Beytagh, an Irish Anglican priest, is something I sometimes refer to, particularly at time such as these.

Think of yourself for a moment. There is no one on this earth who is like you. This may be just as well, but it is true. You may have an identical twin who was removed at birth for all you know, but there is not, and cannot ever have been, nor will there ever be, a person who is exactly like you. Even if someone has exactly the same genes and chromosomes, the environment in which he, or she, grew up will have been different and so they will have become a different person. It is not possible for someone to have the same loves and hates and lusts and fears and anxieties and hopes and desires as you yourself have. You are unique, you are yourself and there never has been, or can be, someone who is just like you, or who fills your place in the world. And if religion is, as it claims to be, a personal relationship with God, your relationship with God will be something unique to yourself and him. You can listen to preachers preaching, you can read about religion – and probably ought to do so because we can all learn from each other’s experience – but in the last resort your religion and your prayer is something of your own self. Finally at the end of your life, you will stand before the judgement seat by yourself. You are responsible for yourself. Many people have contributed towards your goodness and your badness. Many of them may well be blamed and have some responsibility for what is you, but in the last resort, you are you and no one can take your place.

Doug Blacklaws