It was my birthday on Tuesday, a fairly significant birthday as I’ve reached the half century milestone of 50 years old and being someone who likes a good party, I had big plans for this weekend. A year ago, we started planning ’50 fest’ in the McBain family camp. The idea was a sort of middle aged, middle class mini Glastonbury type event with live music, comedy, poetry, great food and best of all friends from all over the world coming to join us over the weekend. Mairi also has a big birthday this year so we were going to combine both celebrations – I’m not allowed to say her age, but we were born in the same year!
With the onset of lock down restrictions we had to make some different plans – 50 fest still happened – it was just the 5 local McB’s, a few zoom calls and a really fun day of different treats, surprise activities- oh and incredible food.
I think it was actually one of my best birthdays ever, rather than lament what we didn’t have or couldn’t do, we simply stayed in the moment and were greatly enriched by being in the here and now.
This wasn’t my only celebration this week. Yesterday I completed my Pastoral Supervision course and am pleased to announce that I have passed and am able to register and begin building up my pastoral supervision hours. It’s been a great class to learn with and we had planned an end of term celebration – and you know I love a party!
In its place we had two long days of zoom facilitated teaching, the usual empowering and uplifting environment of being in a class with likeminded students replaced by the out of sync timings and delayed voices of zoom calls… what a shame.
Until we came to our final session. All the students and the tutors contributed reflections, readings, stories, and songs as our final goodbye- it was emotional. poignant, wonderful, and appropriate.
In that moment there was great beauty.
At our CLT prayer meeting last night, rather than fill the hour with agenda driven prayer topics we allowed space, we waited, we stopped, we had silence. A strong sense came from the whole team of God communicating to us something about living in the moment – enjoying the now and being attentive to what is happening now rather than lamenting the past and planning for the future.
I shared a story which I have been using and pondering a lot since I heard it at the start of this week.
A monk was being chased through a forest by a pack of wolves.
He ran but soon came to the edge of a high cliff. Desperate to save himself, he climbed down a vine and dangled over the fatal precipice.
As he hung there, he looked down and realised it was only half the pack of wolves chasing him, the other half were below him jumping up and nipping at the end of the vine. Suddenly, he noticed on the vine a plump wild strawberry. He plucked it and popped it in his mouth. It was incredibly delicious!
There’s beauty and fruit to be enjoyed in the moment – no matter what the future holds!