From the Minister
The Dash for Diesel
Today, Friday, has meant that I have already led a Bible study at Ongar, attended to the signing of Methodist membership cards to be distributed on Sunday, visited a
couple in North Weald, and doled out publicity to two churches from last night’s meeting of Churches Together in Epping and District. All of the above reminds me that there appears to be a degree of
‘normality’ gaining a foothold with the passing of everyday, or at least I thought so until I encountered something I hadn’t bargained for, namely: the dash for diesel and unleaded fuel. Yes, at the
time of writing I am in Epping, mid-afternoon (I won’t tell you which coffee shop) and am contemplating my movements over the next few days.
When I heard the news last night that it was likely that garage forecourts would struggle with supplies due to the shortage of tanker drivers, I thought I wouldn’t let the matter worry
me. But having witnessed bumper to bumper queues at three petrol stations and having seen two stations shut because they had run dry, the thought of not panicking soon became
a counter intuitive. The reality was that I was now expressing concern, inwardly at least, as to how I might manage the next few days.
As many of you know, I commute to this locality almost daily which in the main involves
effortless movements between villages and towns thanks to the ready availability of diesel and the M11 (when it behaves). Now I’ve got to think again. It strikes me that I may not have enough diesel to fuel my anticipated journeys. Where shall my travels be taking me? (N.B. The journey distances below are return trips)
1. Visit an elderly relative on Saturday morning (97 miles)
2. Conduct two services in Epping on Sunday morning (65 miles)
3. Visit relatives in Norfolk on Sunday afternoon (138 miles)
4. Drive to Cambridge on Monday (15 miles)
5. Lead Women’s Fellowship in Epping on Tuesday (65 miles)
By my reckoning, and thanks to the car’s onboard computer, I have only enough fuel for an estimated 160 miles. The sum of the above journeys as you can well see means that I will
need a top up! I am already planning to stalk my local petrol station at an unbelievably unsocial hour later this evening, assuming that most motorists will be at home with their feet up enjoying a drink to mark the end of the week and consequently unfit or too tired to go out. The
prospect of this late-night foray is precipitated by the fact that I need to drive to our local railway station at 10.45pm to pick up my wife who will have returned from Manchester where she has been for two days attending a denominational committee. If, however, petrol forecourts are not forthcoming tonight, I can see a few cancellations are called for. Certainly, no trips to relatives, as the remaining fuel will just about deliver me to my churches on Sunday and Women’s Fellowship on Tuesday. God-willing I might be able to find some fuel and then all my travel problems dissolve as I ease my way through the hinterlands of Hertfordshire and Norfolk over the weekend whilst keeping to my ‘work’
commitments in Essex.
The Pandemic didn’t really cause me as much inconvenience as the past 12 hours seems to have done. I stand amazed at just how adaptable I was throughout lockdowns, but this
current dash for diesel is upsetting my apple cart somewhat. I am, as some already know, a creature of habit and this is all out with my control. So, whilst I get myself wound up by such imponderables, I probably need to rein my neck in and start some slow breathing exercises recognizing that God is God, and all other matters are somewhat secondary.
God, grant to me your Holy Spirit that I may discern your good and perfect will. Grant me peace of heart and mind so that I may be calm and content. Help me to believe that all my comings and goings are held together in your purpose. Grant me faith, even when I cannot see the way ahead. Order my life and refresh my outlook so that amid earth’s chaos, I may know your perfect will through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
The return of our regular quiz night on Friday 29th October 7.00 for 7.30 in the Livingstone Hall. Teams of 8 £6 per person bring your own nibbles and drinks. (Tea/Coffee provided).
Normal Covid procedures apply.
To book a table call Sandra on 01277 363927.
Coffee Morning and sale Saturday 27th November. 10 - noon in the Livingstone Hall. Proceeds to the Leprosy Mission. Come along for a bargain or just enjoy some homemade cake & tea/coffee.