Nether Heyford Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul
My wife Deborah and I have had a worrying time of late, as concerns for our family have added to existing anxieties on several levels. On the global scale, the coronavirus and climate change are extremely concerning; at work, I worry about how we’ll pay for the various church repairs needed, whilst at a lower level, I worry about the state of the Rectory garden. There seems to be a lot of anxiety and worry about, and much seems to have been written about it. One commentator suggests that ‘anxiety is the new base line in the symphony of life’, whilst another writes ‘Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.’
There’s a story told about a young man, a newly qualified accountant, who applies for a job with a local small business. He’s interviewed by the business owner, a very anxious man, who tells the applicant; ‘I worry about a lot of things, but I don’t want to worry about money. Your job will be to take all my money worries off my back.’ ‘I see’, says the young man. ‘How much does the job pay?’ ‘I’ll start you on £100,000’, replies the owner. ‘£100,000!’ exclaims the accountant. ‘How can such a small business afford a salary like that?’ ‘That,’ says the owner, ‘is your first worry’.
Another story that might be a little more helpful. J Arthur Rank, the British industrialist, film maker, and devout Methodist, decided to do all his worrying on one day of the week. He chose Wednesdays. When anything happened to cause him anxiety or stress, he wrote it down, and put it in his worry box. Then he forgot about it until the following Wednesday. The interesting thing is that on the following Wednesday when he opened his worry box, he found that most of the things that had disturbed him during the past six days were already sorted out. It would have been useless to worry about them!
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says “do not worry about your life…” (Matthew 6:25-34). Jesus points us to the vastness of God’s gifts, to the wonder of creation, and reminds us that God takes care of all that. And if God takes care of the flowers of the field, and the tiny birds of the air, how could he forget all of us? Jesus reminds us that when we trust God, somehow, things always work out in the end. Jesus urges us to hand over to God the anxieties that rob our lives of peace and joy. Similarly, the Apostle Peter writes, ‘Cast all your anxiety on [God], because he cares for you’. I trust and pray that as we do that, rather like J Arthur Rank and his worry box, when we go back to those things, we’ll find that God has sorted them out for us!
Yours in Christ,
Please note that work repairing the roof over the South Aisle of Heyford Church is
due to start at the end of February, and last 4-6 weeks. As a result, services in
Heyford Church may be relocated to the Church Rooms across the road.
Stephen – 01327 344436