“Give your first thoughts to God.” A practical, not at all pious, guideline from St. Vincent for the new day; one that has stood me in good stead – a kind of “whatever else I do today, let me not get in Your way, Lord” approach to everyday.
Everyday is different. Today began with the dilemma of a homeless couple, whether to remain at risk in their canal bank tent or to accept accommodation which would see them robbed nightly while they slept. A dilemma of a different kind, no less difficult in its own way, turns up on a visit to the Confirmation class. “Why can’t we choose Trixie and Tootsie and Tiger as Confirmation names? Only God knows for sure if there was never, never, ever someone somewhere called Trixie who is now St. Trixie!”
Mid-morning mass is an oasis of peace where the prayers of the people ebb and flow; ordinary lives extraordinary in their faith filled fervour. Paper-work provides a pause of kinds; certificates being sought, letters sent, calls made. The afternoon will bring hospital and house visits, a couple preparing for marriage: time too to prepare for an evening meeting of parishioners, and a gathering of youth club leaders planning next month’s activities.
Endless variety, the God of surprises around every corner. Tomorrow will be the same but different once more – first thoughts to God, only let me not get in Your way Lord!